For many years LNHCET (Notting Hill Carnival Enterprise Trust) have made press passes available free of charge to journalist and photographer’s. The media was given access to a small fenced off area locate next to the judging point (Great Western Road).
At the end of May the announcement was made that Journalist and photographers will now be met with a fee of £100 for media passes. The decision was met with anger and disapproval by many who voiced that Carnival takes place on the streets and is therefore a public event.
This [the fee] is a common practice in the Island of Trinidad conductedby the National CarnivalCommission. Last year Don Sylvester the deputy chairman of National Carnival Commission took a trip to London to give some adviceon funding and helping development of Notting Hill Carnival
Flagz Radio was able to contact self-employed photographer Vitoria Vwho said“I have been taking pictures of Notting Hill Carnival for the past 4 years it’s something I enjoy and look forward to but it’s also my livelihood and now I’m told I have to pay? If it wasn’t for people like me, the media the event wouldn’t get as much exposure as it does to generate the numbers it does from all over the world.
Even main stream media outlets have voiced their intentions on the matter. Soca news reporters contacted known photographers and journalist to find out their reactions to the announcement; a representative at The Independent have said “I can safely say there is no way the Independent would be prepared to pay this, that is so ridiculous.”Many already shoot footage without obtaining a pass and have insisted they will continue to do so.
Over the years LNHCET have looked for various ways to generate income and this year the media has become the centre target. The media provide worldwide coverage of the event from the judging point to individual stalls; many would argue the media have had a large part to play in the development of NHC (Noting Hill Carnival). The move could cause some to turn their backs and cover other events such a Reading Festival.
Responding to the issue at hand the carnival administrator said “Although we acknowledge the difficulties and challenges which exist in raising funds for the carnival and outdoor events in UK today. LNHCET need to be formulate a better way of raising income without chasing away those who have been supporting them throughout the years.”
In my opinion this is an idea that needs to be reviewed, these days nothing is free but £100 might be a bit much.
What do you think people?Should the media be made to pay the £100 fee for Press passes at Noting Hill Carnival?
Written by Majestic Presh-R P