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What We Learned This Week: Police In Minnesota Target Journalists

By David Schonauer   Friday April 23, 2021


The ability to report new is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

It’s also required by a functional democracy.

So noted the National Press Photographers Association, which this week joined with other media representatives in speaking out about the recent targeting of journalists in Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis, Minnesota, during protests that followed the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

Journalists covering the protests were forced on their stomachs by law enforcement, rounded up and were only released after having their faces and press credentials photographed, reported USA Today, adding that the incidents occurred hours after a judge issued a temporary order barring the Minnesota State Patrol from using physical force or chemical agents against journalists.

NPPA general counsel Mickey Osterreicher and others met virtually with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Saturday, April 17, to discuss the treatment of journalists by law enforcement during the ongoing demonstrations in the state. (Go here to see a letter sent to Waltz by the media representatives.) The following day, Walz responded, saying, “Apologies are not enough; it just cannot happen,” reported The New York Times.

“I think we all need to recognize the assault on media across the world and even in our country over the last few years is chilling,” said Walz in an interview with a local television station.

Joshua Rashaad McFadden, a freelance photographer who was covering the protests for The Times, said police surrounded the car he was in on Tuesday as he tried to leave the protests. They beat on the windows with batons, then entered the car to force him out, beating his legs and striking his camera lens, he said. McFadden, who is Black, said the police did not believe his press credentials were real until another photographer vouched for him — a situation that has happened to him and other Black journalists many times, he told The Times.

Here are some of the other photo stories we spotlighted this week:
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1. World Press Photo Winners Are Announced

Mads Nissen has won the 2021 World Press Photo of the Year prize for his image “The First Embrace,” which shows an 85-year-old woman, Rosa Luzia Lunardi, being embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, São Paulo, Brazil, on August 5, 2020. “This was the first hug Rosa had received in five months. In March, care homes across the country had closed their doors to all visitors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, preventing millions of Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives,” noted Nissen.


2. Craig Easton Wins Sony World Photo Top Prize

UK-based documentary photographer Craig Easton has won the $25,000 Photographer of the Year prize in the 2021 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards for the series "Bank Top." The series looks at Blackburn, a town in northern England where divisions between white and Muslim Asians were recently spotlighted by the BBC. The Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery invited artists and writers to collaborate directly with residents to authentically portray their day-to-day lives. CNN had more. So did Hyperallergic.


3. Documenting Africa Surf Culture

When you think of surfing or surf culture in broader terms, it’s unlikely that Africa comes to mind— you’re more likely to think of Southern California, or the south coast of Australia. But Afrosurf, the first book devoted to surfing in Africa, challenges this narrative by documenting surf culture across the continent, noted AnOther. The proceeds from the photo book, which is produced by African surf brand Mami Wata and Random House, will go to African Surf Therapy projects Waves for Change and Surfers Not Street Children. At top: by Lupi Spuma. Above: by Arthur Bonbon


4. The Photos That Defined A Vogue Editor's Career

The career of Alessia Glaviano — the brand visual director of Vogue Italia and director of Photo Vogue — has centered around shaping the modern photography industry. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Photo Vogue and Glaviano’s 20th anniversary at Vogue Italia, and BuzzFeed’s Pia Peterson recently talked with her about the photographers and images that influence her (including the one above, by Philip-Lorca Di Corcia). “I like images that restore that complexity. My passion is to discover new things, to be able to change my mind about something,” she said.


5. Dogs and Cats, As Seen From Below

If you love pet paws, then you’ll love pet photographer Andrius Burba’s series “Underlook,” which, as My Modern Met noted, provides a good view of paws, fluffy bellies, and more. Burba photographs dogs and cats from below, through glass, with a black background. He demonstrates his technique in behind-the-scenes videos at YouTube. “Each creature playfully interacts with the glass surface while they unknowingly have their photo taken,” added MMM.

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