Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

Q: Can we use unpublished photos on our news site or in our yearbook or reprint photos that were taken by a student who has since graduated? A: Unless there was a specific agreement between the former staff members and the publication stating otherwise, the former students retain the copyright to any work they created… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we use unpublished photos from a student who graduated?

‘Go take pictures of birds’: Firefighter tells student reporters to beat it, refuses to give identification

Emergency vehicles outside the health center at El Camino College outside Los Angeles. Student journalists were told to "go take pictures of birds" and were threatened with arrest while trying to report on the scene. Credit: Rosemary Montalvo / The Union

CALIFORNIA — A Los Angeles county firefighter threatened student reporters with arrest and repeatedly rebuffed them while they were trying to gather information on emergency crews on campus, according to the journalists. Emergency crews, including police and an ambulance, appeared to be responding to a medical incident at the college’s student health center. A man… Continue reading ‘Go take pictures of birds’: Firefighter tells student reporters to beat it, refuses to give identification

Ask SPLC: Parental permissions for photos of minors?

Q: Can we publish students' names and photos online without parental permission, even when the students are minors? A: Yes. Many people mistakenly believe that parental consent is needed in order to identify students in a publication-- be it print or online-- but no federal privacy law requires such consent. If your school tells you there… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Parental permissions for photos of minors?

First Amendment ruling focuses the lens on photojournalists' rights — again

A citizen activist lost his First Amendment case against a Missouri police department when a federal court held that there is no constitutional right to insist on access to photograph government activities. The ruling does nothing, however, to undermine the well-established right to photograph police when they're doing official business in public.

Purdue Exponent officials criticize ruling allowing university to withhold public records

In a written ruling issued earlier this month, a state public access counselor said Purdue University doesn’t have to release surveillance video footage and other records requested by The Purdue Exponent because of a public-records exemption allowing an agency to withhold “investigatory records.”

Temple student arrested for photographing traffic stop sues police

Two years ago, a Temple University student’s attempt to complete a photojournalism assignment by taking pictures of a police traffic stop ended in arrest for both him and his girlfriend, who was accompanying him at the time. The pair was acquitted on charges of obstructing justice later that year, but the issue is back in court this month — this time, in a civil lawsuit filed by the pair against the two Philadelphia police officers who made the arrest.