NBA Tells Getty to Kill a Photo

I was a wire guy early in my career, almost three years of stringing for the Associated Press and several more with Agence France-Presse. When Getty Images, another psuedo-wire service/agency, started signing contracts with major sports leagues to provide visual coverage, I figured most major news outlets would stop using them.

Why? Because if you’re shooting a basketball game for the league AND for news outlets, you have a conflict of interest. If something newsworthy but unflattering happens, do you release the photo? It’s happened before.

And, now, it has happened again, but in a different way – the NBA has had Getty Images kill a photo.

Were I to still be editing, there’s no way I would use a Getty Images photograph from any event with which they have a relationship. Their news work has, to this point, been uncontroversial, but on sports? No way.

Mark E. Johnson

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