Ethical Guidelines & Rules:
North Carolina Press Photographers Association A news photograph must be truthful and must accurately represent a moment in time. Alteration of photographs in any way that misleads, confuses or otherwise misrepresents the accuracy of actual events is strictly prohibited by the North Carolina Press Photographers Association.
Photojournalists may not alter the editorial content of a photograph. No people or objects may be added, re-arranged, reversed, distorted or removed from a selected scene. Common practices in our profession that affect the scene to a much lesser degree are permitted. Dodging or burning to de-emphasize or emphasize areas, never adding or erasing information, is acceptable. Toning and color correcting that remains true to the tones and colors of the original scene are acceptable, as are cropping, contrast adjustment, sharpening and spotting. Cloning (i.e., the rubber stamp tool in Photoshop) may only be used to remove dust and scratches. Conversion from color to grayscale is permitted.
Photo illustrations must be clearly labeled as such and entered only in the Photo Illustration category (this includes cut-outs and drop-outs).
Pictures of news events must never be posed. Photojournalists should never stage or re-enact events. Portraits and studio shots must be seen clearly as such and not create an artificial sense of spontaneity. This is not to say that moments can't happen in the studio and in portraits, only that the photographer's intervention must be unmistakable and free of intent to deceive.
In order to enforce these ethical policies, the NCPPA will adopt new rules for its Clip Contest and POY Contest effective January 1, 2004. Photographs made on or after January 1, 2004 that come under question after entry into a 2004 or later NCPPA Clip Contest or POY Contest must be accompanied by an original digital file upon the request of a contest judge or member of the NCPPA Board of Directors. Entries are subject to review either during or after a contest and may be disqualified or have awards rescinded based on an evaluation of the raw file or failure by the photographer to provide the raw file in a timely manner.
In the best interest of our organization and our profession, the NCPPA Board of Directors will carefully consider any and all concerns about the authenticity and ethical validity of photographs entered into its contests.
Posted: November 1, 2003