Thursday, December 20, 2007

NPPA President To Testify Before House On National Parks Photo Rule Changes

News Item


DURHAM, NC (December 10,2007) - National Press Photographers Association president Tony Overman, a staff photojournalist for The Olympian in Olympia, WA, is scheduled to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee in Washington, DC, on Wednesday regarding the Department of Interior's proposed revision to its filming regulations in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.

With the assistance of NPPA's general legal counsel, Mickey H. Osterreicher, Overman will voice NPPA's opposition to the proposed rule changes because the organization feels they would expand restrictions on still photography in the parks, and NPPA also has concerns about the definition of "commercial filming" along with changes in the rules regulating audio gathering under the proposed statue.

"An environment that allows an open and free press to flourish is essential in maintaining the democratic foundations of this country," U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) said in November. Rahall is the House Natural Resources Committee chairman.

"Unfortunately, this Administration has gained a well-earned reputation for leaking, distorting, and stonewalling, which undermines the ability of the press to serve as a valuable check on the government. The news media's concerns over this proposed rule deserve an open forum," the chairman said.

The committee's hearing on "New Fees for Filming and Photography on Public Land" is set to be held in the Longworth House Office Building beginning at 10 a.m. EST on Wednesday, December 12. The hearing will be carried live via Webcast at

"NPPA is sending representatives to this hearing to ensure that professional visual journalists are represented as completely as possible, and to also fulfill our mission to defend the rights and access afforded to journalists by the First Amendment," NPPA's Overman said. NPPA's Advocacy Committee has been following developments in the suggested rule changes since they were first proposed. Read it all...


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