Norwegian media organizations reject photo restrictions

Norwegian media organizations are concerned about increasing numbers of photo restrictions that prevent free and independent news coverage of events in Norway.

Norwegian media organizations encourage Norwegian event organizers to make it clear to foreign managers and event organizers that Norwegian media do not accept restrictions in media work during events in Norway. We also encourage Norwegian editors not to sign contracts accepting such limitations, and to find ways to cover the event that protects the free news coverage.

The undersigned media organizations have collectively released such statements earlier. Unfortunately, we are now experiencing a development in the wrong direction. With great concern, we note that restrictions are imposed on media coverage of cultural events and sports events. In particular, this applies to photographers' working conditions.

It is clearly against acknowledged principles for independent news reporting when artists and organizers impose conditions on the inclusion of text and images in the coverage and how the mentioned can later be used by the media outlet.

The ground rule must always be that media reporters, identified by valid press cards, can without conditions report from events open to the general public. Any limitations must be justified for safety and practical reasons, and not based on the desire to control what kind of information that should be published. These limitations, the event organizers ought to plan how to solve beforehand - and it may well be done in collaboration with the media organizations.

We also recognize that artists and others seek protection against disreputable commercial exploitation of their performances and photographic images of them. In our estimation, the risk of this kind of exploitation is near non-existent in Norway, in accordance with the ethics and traditions Norwegian media work by, and with legislation against commercial exploitation of photos of persons (for instance The Intellectual Property Rights Act § 104).

In any case, the likelihood for such exploitation cannot defend constraints in acknowledged principles for independent news coverage, in the form of censorship-like conditions.

Oslo, July 6 2018


The Norwegian Press Association

The Norwegian Union of Journalists

The Association of Norwegian Editors

The Norwegian Press Photographers Association

The Norwegian Media Business Association

The National Association of Local Newspapers

The Norwegian Specialized Press Association