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From the Listerver: Photographs in Your Publication - 10/6/2009 -

Your colleagues discuss the rules for using a child's photograph in a publication.

Q: Do you have to get parental permission if you are printing a snapshot of a child to illustrate an article or on the cover of a magazine to illustrate a theme?Does the article have to be covering the actual event that the pictured child is involved in?

A. Always get a parent's written permission before you use a child's photo. Some publications also have rules against identifying the child at all or using only a child's first name. Safety is the key issue here when you're thinking about anything related to children.

Joan Richardson, Editor in Chief, Kappan magazine, Phi Delta Kappa

A. You should need no permission to run photos of a news story, provided that story is based on a public event. So it doesn't matter where the photo runs, inside or on the cover. The only time you really need permission is when a person's likeness is used in a promotional manner, such as an advertisement or marketing campaign. That is an implied endorsement, which requires permission if you wish not to get sued.

If you are still concerned, use a stock photo, which will cost a pretty penny, or an AP photo, which would cost less.

Rick Pullen, Editor in Chief, Leader's Edge, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

A. I work at an early childhood education association, sovirtually allof the photographs we run in our publications are of children. We require our photographers to obtaina model release formfor every child and adult whose photograph they submit to us. For the children, this means that their parents must signthe release.We also do not print the children's names at all. In our experience there isoften asmall number of parents who do not want their children's photograph taken or published, and they feel strongly about this.If you're in doubt,I'd suggest asking the parents to sign a model release form.

Meredith MacMillan, Senior Editorial Associate, Young Children, National Association for the Education of Young Children

A. We typically fall into the same situation Meredith described. Most of our photos are taken in schools. Many schools have model release forms on file for the students and the language in the release allows the school to share the photos with third parties, such as the media. In those cases, we don't have to secure the releases ourselves. However, as a goodrisk-management tactic, I recommend getting releases whenever you can.

Kate Conley, Periodicals Director and Editor, Learning & Leading with Technology, International Society for Technology in Education


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