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Photojournalism

Veteran Photog Douglas Graham Quits Roll Call

Roll Call’s longtime  photo editor Douglas Graham has had enough of This Town. So after 30 years in the business -17 at CQ Roll Call – he’s heading for the exits. And he doesn’t mince words about why.

“I’m just tired of it.” Graham told FishbowlDC. “It’s like Groundhog Day.  Covering Congress is such a laser-focus part of journalism, instead of working for a regular daily where you get to cover lots of different things. And I’m just sick of Congress’ inability to do anything interesting anymore.”

The commute probably had something to do with it too. Graham lives in the Blue Ridge mountains of West Virginia, between Leesburg and Winchester. Downtown DC is a two-hour MARC train away. And as he puts it, “I like where I work, but I really like where I live.”

He had nothing but kind words for his colleagues at Roll Call though.

Tom Williams and Bill Clark are absolute masters,” he says, referring to his staff photographers. “And being their boss, I got to take credit for all their work. You couldn’t ask for a better team. And (former RC photog) Chris Maddaloni, I can’t forget him. I loved my job, loved working in DC, loved working at CQ Roll Call.”

Doug’s last day of work is January 31st. Then he’ll be freelancing in DC through February before returning to West Virginia to work on a new venture with his wife.

His final thoughts on leaving DC?

“I’m sad to leave, but not that sad.”

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White House Press Corps Snaps Over Photo Ban

The White House Correspondents Association has had enough. And so have just about every other media outlet in America. WHCA and more than 40 other news orgs sent a letter today to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to protest the banning of photographers from some White House events. The Obama White House has said in the past that photographers would not be allowed to take pictures of “private” events, but has often released photos of those same events taken by White House photographer Pete Souza. In the letter, the media groups accused the White House of trying to replace “photojournalism with visual press releases.”

From the letter:

As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government. To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.

They go on to list seven examples in 2013 where press photographers were denied access to events and instead were issued “official” photographs. The events include a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a meeting with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, and an event where the whole Obama family met Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person they describe as being “of great public interest.”

Full letter after the jump.

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