Walmart and freedom of the press
Thu Jan 6 14:32:39 EST 2005
I know most of us are in radio, but I thought I'd ask those of you who also
do some TV or print. The other day, a mentally ill guy basically stripped
naked in a Walmart parking lot in Maryland. A local news photographer for
the newspaper was in the area doing other stuff but when he saw the scene,
he snapped a picture (very tasteful, nothing obscene). But Walmart tried
to confiscate his camera, citing a policy that no pictures can be taken on
Walmart property without permission-- not even pictures of breaking
news. All pictures must be approved in advance-- here is their stated
policy. Does this make sense to anyone? Unless newspeople are psychic,
how are they supposed to do their jobs?
Wal-Mart's photo policy
Wal-Mart's policy that all photos taken on its property must be approved in
advance includes breaking news coverage, company spokeswoman Christi
The company requires the media - or anyone else - to get approval before
taking pictures in Wal-Mart stores or on Wal-Mart property, she said.
Asked if journalists photographing unexpected news, such as a fire, need
the same permission, Gallagher said they do.
After hours, a journalist should call the company's 24-hour corporate
hotline before taking pictures, she said.
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