What can I do to make this happen?

Both the industry and the NPPA are in deep trouble. If you've been reading my Common Cents columns you know what's been going on in the industry. If you read News Photographer Magazine you know that the NPPA's finances have become a fingerpointing case of, "But, Your Honor, I thought he was driving."

The NPPA's woes are not strictly due to mismanagement. Membership is down significantly from its peaks. Members are under pressure from a decreasing number of employers, falling real wages and increasingly predatory freelance contracts, the NPPA has responded too slowly and with little passion to the economic interests of its members.

Other groups have addressed economic issues, but internal turf battles and inter-organizational jealousies have diluted most efforts and doomed any attempt at a unified front. Leadership, cooperation and resources are needed desperately.

It's not too late for the NPPA to take-up the leadership mantle. But it's going to take a real change in the NPPA's basic philosophy. Half-measures will not work.

Here's what it's going to take:

  1. The NPPA bylaws will have to be amended to allow the organization to address specific labor situations. This will not turn the NPPA into a labor union.
  2. A fulltime advocate must be hired to market the message of editorial economic interests and to manage a lobbying effort. This is the pointy end of the stick. It's how the membership will put its money where its vital interests are.
  3. An oversight committee must to be formed to formulate strategy and oversee the efforts of the advocate. The committee will ensure that the economic interests of the membership are supported.
  4. The dues will have to be raised. This is where the members prove that they are grown-ups who understand that this is a matter of the survival of a profession. The dues of other professional organizations are significantly higher than the NPPA's. There is no getting around the fact that this effort will cost money.
Our profession is faced with a crisis far more daunting than a threat to First Amendment rights. If nobody can make a living as a photojournalist, who will be left to fight for constitutional issues?

Text of the resolutions

Resolution to amend the bylaws

Resolution to hire an advocate

Resolution to establish a
standing Advocacy Committee

Resolution to increase dues


Why hire an advocate?

Why establish a standing
Advocacy Committee?

Why increase dues?

Isn't this just about freelancers?

What can I do to make this happen?

Click here to comment or, if you are a Board member or committee chair, to sign-on as a co-sponsor of these resolutions.

Updated April 21, 2004 10:11 PT