Despite the unforeseen global COVID19 pandemic and resulting negative effects on our industry, The BPPA have had yet another very busy and productive year with success in many projects, from an all-round stirling team effort by the BPPA’s elected Board members in what have been very challenging circumstances for us all.
The Chair wishes to express his personal gratitude to all of our Board members for giving their time, often at very short notice in attending emergency online meetings and quickly adapting to an ever and fast-changing situation conducted with outstanding professionalism, commitment and teamwork. -As always.
The projects that we undertook have not only given our ever-growing membership excellent value for money, they have also promoted the highest ethical, technical and creative standards from within the profession, raising awareness and appreciation from within our industry and outside it, in line with The BPPA ‘Mission Statement’.
Below is a list of the Board’s activities and achievements throughout the year 19/20:
1. We’ve actively recruited Board members based in the regions to give our UK-wide membership confidence that we are representative of them with direct points of contact to the Board regionally.
2. The BPPA’s Assignments 2019 exhibition was a stunning success story attracting thousands of visitors to three beautiful and unique galleries showing in London, Stoke-on-Trent and Bradford. Also, the introduction of guest speakers from within our membership has proven hugely successful with insightful and candid talks to big audiences during the exhibitions. So successful has Assignments been, our regular sponsors have very kindly offered increased funding for The BPPA to expand the Assignments exhibitions even further into hosting workshops and seminars creating information hubs for our members, those studying press photography and the general public to attend.
3. We held a members’ vote on a proposal for a new level of Associate membership which had a huge vote in favour for. We now have a panel of Board members working on this project who’ve been liaising with a number of education establishments keen to work with us. Board members have already given talks to photojournalism students on their own work and that of The BPPA and continue to do so.
4. We attended the 2019 Picture Editors’ Guild Awards with our members. This event is an excellent networking evening for our organisation.
5. The continuation of The BPPA’s ‘Spotlight’ series, highlighting the outstanding and diverse work of our membership through this online gallery.
6. We hosted Assignments Live in London with a tribute to John Downing from his son Bryn and horse racing specialist Alan Crowhurst.
7. We invested corporate sponsorship in The BPPA co-creator’s John Downing book ‘Legacy’.
8. Through the organisation of the Snapperweb Christmas party raffle, The BPPA Board helped to raise a total of £2,816.00 for the National Autistic Society.
9. We instituted discounted subscriptions on newspaper publications.
10. We issued important guidance on the ‘Four Cs’ of metadata to coincide with Google’s Licensable Images.
11. We began work on a complete rebuild of the existing website which is currently ongoing.
12. We intervened in a number of issues relating to freedom of the press including; Downing Street pooling of images, assaults on press photographers during COVID19, private security and police abuse of powers, as well as News UK copyright grab contracts. These have included publication of official statements from The BPPA and interviews with media representatives.
** Please note that the following points all relate to COVID19 and The Board’s work throughout the ongoing pandemic **
13. Outside of our monthly Board meetings, we held fortnightly online meetings specific to Covid19 as the situation was an ever-changing environment. The meetings have proven vital in quick Board decisions and for giving regular updates and useful resources to our members. This included the creation of a Covid19-specific resources webpage.
14. Despite a minor halt in production of press cards, our Membership Secretary and Secretary have done and continue to do an outstanding job of dealing with all new applications and press card renewals as the UKPCA press card became essential to being recognised key workers during the pandemic.
15. We have given six months of payment holidays to our members suffering loss of work as a direct effect of Covid19.
16. We’ve built good working relationships with a host of organisations including; The National Union of Journalists, the Society of Editors, the Sports Journalists Association, the News Media Coalition, the Football Association, the Premier League, Football Data Co Ltd, the English Football League, Premiership Rugby and Premier League football clubs comms officers. It has been a pleasure working with everyone.
17. Liaised with national football and rugby organisations from a variety of leagues in the creation of Pool C enabling not only members of The BPPA, but also non-member license holders to access ongoing Project Restart fixtures being played behind closed doors in stadia nationally. Countless hours of online meetings have been conducted both in consulting with our members and all relevant organisations and clubs in the creation and continued smooth operation of Pool C.
18. The BPPA Board conducted over 160 Premiership League Pool C draws during the 2019-2020 season finish, in addition to four Pool C draws for FA Cup semi finals and finals held at Wembley stadium played behind closed doors. All draws were announced before being conducted live on Zoom, with results posted on social media immediately afterwards to add transparency to all interested parties.
19. Through the work of The BPPA Board in representing the best interests of our members and of press photography, we have increased our membership number over the 19/20 year by 117 new members (and counting) which brings our total to 420 at the time of writing. The welcome additional funds will be reinvested in new innovative projects.
20. Fortunately the Covid19 pandemic never halted operations of The BPPA Board, we responded well in working together and already have more exciting projects currently in their planning stages for our members throughout 2021.
Thank you to those organisations who work with us, the Assignments speakers and most importantly, our membership for their continued confidence in The BPPA during these uncertain and challenging times.
Onwards and upwards for a brighter and successful 2021.