Friday, March 2, 2007

Girls Top 28 Controversy

Last night, after arriving in Hammond from Shreveport for the second time in four days to cover the girls Top 28 state high school basketball tournament, I was finally able to take my gear out of my Jeep and take a picture. When I got here on Monday, I found that the LHSAA was trying to make newspaper photographers sign a consent form saying that we couldn’t sell photos that appear in online photo galleries. That only shots appearing in the physical newspaper could be sold. Papers from across the state, including The Times, The Advocate and the Times-Picayune, refused to sign the document and boycotted the games that night.

I went back to my hotel and hoped for a last-minute reversal of the policy, since surely the athletic association folks would give in when they saw that there would be no photo coverage and that they were trampling on First Amendment rights and that it was the girls who would be hurt by it. But nothing happened, so I went and had me a nice dinner and a couple of drinks and a ridiculous conversation with some crazy drunk guy named Merle (not Earl!) before calling it a night. I drove back to Shreveport on Tuesday morning.

By the time I woke up on Wednesday, LHSAA officials had indeed changed their minds. So I’m back in south Louisiana. Last night I shot the Mansfield game, tonight it is the Southwood and the Arcadia games, and tomorrow it is Mansfield all over again.

Athletic association officials were very cordial, and asked the photographers how things were going and if we needed anything. The media got to set up courtside, the high-speed wireless Internet worked well and the food was good. Now that I’m finally able to do my job everything is going great. Check on photos of your favorite teams here.

1 comments:

Anonymous 3/02/2007 10:53 AM  

A private contract for a public event with school's funded by the public?

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