Jump to content
Pietrach

How do news photographers inow about emergency responses?

Recommended Posts

Hi

I was extremely luck lately being one of the first people with camera on the scene of a fire in Glasgow, tye moment the emergency services were arriving. This allowed me to sell few images which were used for early news online. 

I know I was lucky, as i was there only because i was dropping my biy off at the nursery which was accross the road, and I am sure I wont sell any news images for a long time unless I found some luck again. But then again, i have a full time job and this is a hobby only, so I dont need to.

This makes me think about how do professional news photographers find out about emergency responses? I imagine that following news is not the way to go - as that means they are too late and missed the early stages oftge event. Is there any live website or do they have a way of listening to the emergency services radio?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The answer on listening to emergency services radio will depend what country you live in.  In the UK, at least for the police, it is not possible  as the transmissions are encoded.   Again in the UK, many local fire services operate a website with latest incidents being reported in near real time.  Twitter is your friend.  Either the emergency services report incidents or passers-by.  I have picked up murder, shooting etc via this route.  I am also aware that some emergency services have dedicated recorded message phone lines for journalists that give details of incidents.  These phone numbers are changed frequently and you have to be on the circulation list to keep up to date with the numbers,   Although much more difficult and in some cases perhaps illegal, it is possible to develop relationships with emergency personnel who will tip you off.  This is somewhat old fashioned but very effective.   Others may have different ideas or approaches.  

 

I have found that the press officers of emergency services are often not helpful and exist to "control" the media rather than help.  I do not blame them, a lack of resources and fears under data protection hinder our role.   I know in my own case and talking to local journalists, oten emergency service press officers will not even respond to questions post incident or delay so long in replying (my last one took three weeks to get a response) as to be useless. 

 

In my personal experience covering major incidents are difficult from a moral and professional aspect.  No matter how hard you try someone is going to have a go at you.  A final warning, I am aware of a photographer who had to undergo professional counselling for developing symptoms of PTSD due to the number of traumatic events she had covered and on a completely different level, war and disaster zone photographers often have this issue.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed fairly quickly the ongoing Glasgow school of Art incident last night on facebook and twitter. I thought about dragging myself up to the city centre for pictures but already there were camera phone images and videos from late night revellers pouring in to social media. It would have been pointless. Besides, the city centre is not the place to be at 01.00hrs with a tripod and expensive lens. Getting near it with a car would also have been a nightmare. I digress, I have tried and mostly failed by signing up to social media sites to gain info on breaking news. They are usually only good for picking up on upcoming events. I think newspaper togs still have the edge due to their long list of contacts and networks. It is very difficult for part timers like you and I to gain the time critical advantage.

Edited by Sultanpepa
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Case in point, picked this up on twitter this morning and went straight over

Scene of an alleged rape in Brentwood, Essex

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IanDavidson said:

Case in point, picked this up on twitter this morning and went straight over

 

 

Good set of pics, Ian.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Case in point, picked this up on twitter this morning and went straight over

Scene of an alleged rape in Brentwood, Essex

 

Is it a police account you are watching or local news?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pietrach said:

Is it a police account you are watching or local news?

Local news - nothing on the police twitter or website

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just covered my second rape scene locally in three days not to mention public disorder locally, after World Cup, all in three days....   interestingly and very on topic, I attended a police award ceremony yesterday.  Their camera packed up so I stepped in.  A senior officer promised me “tip offs” and operational access...  we will see.  

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IanDavidson said:

Just covered my second rape scene locally in three days not to mention public disorder locally, after World Cup, all in three days....   interestingly and very on topic, I attended a police award ceremony yesterday.  Their camera packed up so I stepped in.  A senior officer promised me “tip offs” and operational access...  we will see.  

 

Ooh, well done! Lucky bugger!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Just covered my second rape scene locally in three days not to mention public disorder locally, after World Cup, all in three days....   interestingly and very on topic, I attended a police award ceremony yesterday.  Their camera packed up so I stepped in.  A senior officer promised me “tip offs” and operational access...  we will see.  

Amazing, do you know if any images of these three days have sold?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Pietrach said:

Amazing, do you know if any images of these three days have sold?

I do not know yet.  Sales can tak week’s to show up...  I tweeted some of the disorder photos and got over 5,000 impressions in 24 hours.  I am looking forward to England’s Sunday game.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/26916199@N03/29020761848/in/dateposted-public/

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

I do not know yet.  Sales can tak week’s to show up...  I tweeted some of the disorder photos and got over 5,000 impressions in 24 hours.  I am looking forward to England’s Sunday game.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/26916199@N03/29020761848/in/dateposted-public/

Fingers crossed for the sales.

Off topic, but I watched the first Poland's game...  worst I EVER seen them play. Not looking forward to next games :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.