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|| News Item: Posted 2004-11-03

'Got Ethics ?'
By Scott Sommerdorf

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Scott Sommerdorf multi-tasks while shooting an Oakland Athletics game during the 2004 season in Oakland.
What happens when talented, opinionated men and women wearing Hawaiian shirts gather to discuss the issues facing photojournalism?

We'll have ninety minutes to find out. But I guarantee you - if it's like others I've been part of, when our time is up it'll seem like we just started. During this breakout session at the laid - back Sports Shooter Luau, we hope to talk about what's wrong - and what's right in our business, and if we are very lucky maybe even have a good time while doing it.

The snappy little name we came up with - "Got Ethics" really doesn't do justice to the range of topics we hope to get at. It's not just - "Do you have ethics?", but what values are your ethics built on? What kind of ethical decision-making rules in your newsroom? Do you feel the average reader understands the difference between the documentary p-j on A-1 and the computer-aided "photo-illustration" on the features page? Do you feel the average newsroom considers that same quandary on the fly day-to-day?

Our panel will bring a wide range of experiences to the talk, and will provide us with a rare opportunity to delve into these issues in a meaningful, and entertain way:

Rick Loomis / Staff Photographer The Los Angeles Times
Paul Whyte, Director of Photography USA TODAY
Mike Treola / Staff Photographer The Asbury Park Press
Scott Sommerdorf / Planet Zoe Photos (recently San Francisco Chronicle)
And ... a possible special guest!

Also of interest to many will be the notorious freelance contracts and relationships between photo agencies and sports leagues that have been in the news and lighting up our own message board for months. But unlike the message board we expect that our conversations, and possible disagreements - while passionate - will remain respectful, and in keeping with the camaraderie of the Luau.

(Scott Sommerdorf is a frequent contributor to the Sports Shooter Newsletter. His "Got Ethics" breakout is his first go-around as a faculty member of the Workshop & Luau.)

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