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|| News Item: Posted 1999-06-10

Human Billboards Part 2
By Tim Clayton, Sydney Morning Herald

We have actually made huge inroads since I wrote to you and the issue is Something collectively the photographers are going to fight.

We (the photographers) have all signed a petition over the past couple of weeks protesting about being used as billboards. The MEAA (journalists union in Australia) are right behind us and have contacted various sports bodies on our behalf.

At the Rugby on Saturday night (where the trouble started two weeks previously) the officials have backed down regarding the bib advertising and allowed us to turn them inside out. And after Saturday night's game they actually gave each photographer a bottle of wine and thanked us for turning up to cover the game...a complete turn around from the previous occasion when we were threatened with removal from the ground. At the
soccer today we were again allowed to turn our bibs inside out.

The general feeling among photographers here is that we will stand completely united on this issue. Not one photographer has refused to sign the petition and everybody has turned bibs around. It's a question of ethics and we feel we have been abused for far too long, without consideration. We know of no other profession who has to become a walking
billboard in order to do their job. We hope this becomes an issue not just in Australia, but worldwide so that our journalistic impartiality and professional integrity can be maintained!

Kind regards,
Tim Clayton

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