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Photographers protest high fees to cover mas, pan & more

The Trinidad Guardian


It’s wrong and unethical


Contrary to popular belief—and, apparently, the belief of Carnival special interest groups—photographers don’t make a lot of money from covering Carnival.  This year, Carnival stakeholders—the National Carnival Commission (NCC), the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA), Pan Trinbago and the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO)—raised the licence fees for Carnival coverage by amateur and freelance photographers. 


Some prominent photographers fear the demand for fees will reduce the coverage the festival gets and the way it is recorded for posterity. In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian on Monday, independent photographer Maria Nunes said she paid $8,100 in licence fees to the NCC, the NCBA and Pan Trinbago to cover Carnival 2013 events. 


....Andrea de Silva, a photographer who works for the international news agency Reuters, said in a telephone interview yesterday she saw the licence fees for coverage of  Carnival as “wrong and unethical.” De Silva said in 2010 she covered the local Carnival events for Reuters and was required to pay an accreditation fee of US$250. In 2011, she paid TT$2,000 to cover Carnival events. 


That was the last year she paid these licence fees. She said paying for coverage of any event is against Reuters’ policy. “It is wrong for any organisation, be it the NCC or anybody else, to charge the media to cover any event,” she said.


De Silva, a former T&T Guardian chief photographer, said she has covered events all over the world and has never been made to pay for such coverage. She said the reason she had paid the licence fees in the past was that she saw the need to promote T&T Carnival on the world stage. This year, she said, she saw a major decrease in the number of photographers during the Carnival season.

"I am sure this is because of the exorbitant fees. Who is going to benefit from this in the long term? By promoting the festival, we stand to benefit," she added. She said statistics showed the majority of visitors to Trinidad during the Carnival season were from the T&T diaspora and it was important to allow people to capture the spirit of Carnival through photos in order to attract foreigners to take part in the national festival.

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And who get that money?They always have to pay for this, and pay for that,And still squeeze the poor man.

If they continue with that,Just boycott the carnival,and show them who is boss.

Is it possible that the people who are in charge of these interest groups lack vision? They may be looking at a few dollars in the interim but throw away what is at the end of the rainbow. Most times these people in these powerful positions also take advice from other people who also does not have the knowledge and /or experience; A fool leading a fool! I really hope they do proper investigations before making informed decisions. 

Again a case of them being greedy there should not be any fees for covering the events . They should boycut the carnival and show them who need who.

This reminds me of carnival long time ago when you stop and ask a mas character to take a picture of them...they turn 'round and put out their hand for money. They eventually look up some news tabloid to see if their picture is in it, cut it out and frame it.They dont appreciate the exposure they get from these photographers. 

Everybody want to milk the "cash cow"

I agreee that the fees are totally outrageous but the line about the Reuters photographer is intentionally misleading... $2000TT is only about sixty US more than $250US but is written to make it seem like a more dramatic increase...although sixty dollars increase in one year is outrageous on its own...

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what constitutes rights and who owns them and what constitutes commercial use and  news coverage of public events.These are very critical issues in the age of cyberspace, social media etc. Now that it has come to the fore it is an opportunity for all parties to get together with professional and legal referees and come to an understanding of the issues and agree on the future. Perhaps NCC is the right organisation to to take the initiative to bring light to the darkness.

Well, if Trini true to form, this is also about lining individuals', usually those in charge, pockets. 

Also, remember just before the carnival, one of the agencies came out and said they paid out thousands of dollars in the past, to find out now supposedly it was paid to the "wrong parties" and they could not recoup those fees to pay to the "proper recipients", because the "wrong parties" had already allocated and used said fees/funds.

Corruption to the core, and more.

I am especially interested in Andrea de Silva saying as a Reuters photographer, they do not pay to cover events, this is an international agency, like Associated Press, New York Times, etc.  She covers events around the world and says it is wrong for the NCC to charge.  This is interesting.  So where does the NCC and the other local agencies take their cue from?

Am I the only one who thought that there was going to be a problem once the former head of COTT Allison Dumas became the NCC chairman. Dumas and Dias have the same mindset. Dumas doesn't have an original thought.


In D' land of D' EAT AH FOOD, it is de people who make de show happen. D' people who perform on de stage and in de streets, dey STARVING!!! Where is all this money collected going?

This conversation might expand on the ensuing discussion here: http://lyndersaydigital.com/brain/pix_files/tv6_me_ncc.html


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