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Photographers facing assault, abuse and being spat on: report

Posted on: April 24, 2020 by Ian Murray

Press photographers are being abused, violently assaulted and spat on as they go about their work, it has been revealed.

Now the British Press Photographers Association (BPPA) has issued an open letter calling for more understanding for the vital role being carried out by their members.

“No person, keyworker or other, should go to work with the fear of physical attack or abuse,” stated the letter.

“Press photographers do not have the luxury of reporting from home, they have to be out in the field seeing and communicating what is in front of them and do this with a variety of camera equipment, be that with wide angle, standard or telephoto lenses. The misconception that telephoto lenses in some way give a distorted and more crowded view of a scene is as bizarre as it is ill-informed.”

The statement added that research conducted by The BPPA on interactions between bona fide press photographers and the general public during their coverage of the COVID-19 crisis revealed some very disturbing results in a number of regions across the UK.

Photographers reported being threatened with violence, physically assaulted, trolled on social media, received death threats, incitement to attack, and were even being spat at by members of the public whilst working on Coronavirus-related assignments.

“This is absolutely despicable behaviour. It is completely unacceptable by any means and at any time and should not be tolerated by any member of the press. These are criminal offences and The BPPA strongly advise any of our members or any non-member to report such incidents to the authorities immediately,” the latter states.

The BPPA suggested members of the public if concerned whether a photographer was representing the media should not be afraid to ask for their credentials.

“We’re human like everyone else, with families and loved ones who are just as eager for life to return to normal as you.”

The letter can be read here: