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Fox bans AP photographers
Yahoo News/AP
July 12, 2006

NEW YORK - The Associated Press is protesting plans by Fox to bar photographers from its news conferences at the Television Critics Association press tour and says it will not cover the events unless the network changes the policy.

Fox has asked journalists to accept handout photos from photographers it has hired. The news cooperative says Fox's decision interferes with its ability to fully report the event and sets a bad precedent.

Television networks bring executives and stars to a Los Angeles-area conference center twice a year to meet with journalists from across the country.

Unless Fox allows it to send photographers, the AP will not assign any print journalists to cover Fox's events, which include those by the affiliated FX cable network.

"Fox wants to make sure the images from their publicity event are flattering to the network by controlling the content and distribution of the pictures," said David Ake, the AP's deputy director of photography. "The problem for the AP is that, just as we wouldn't let Fox write our stories, we can't have them shooting our pictures."

Ake said several discussions with Fox have resulted in no progress, but that the AP still hopes to resolve the issue. Recent Fox press tour events were covered with no problem, he said.

Fox spokesman Scott Grogin declined to comment Wednesday on the AP's protest. Another Fox spokesman, Joe Earley, told Variety he would not give the reasons for Fox's decision, but labeled it unfortunate the AP has "reacted in such an aggressive and detrimental manner."

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