Meanwhile, it is commonplace that pressure is exerted on the media from all different sides. The aim: a sugarcoated story. In the arts sector, musician stakeholders have been opposing neutral media coverage for some time past. Either, pictures are being taken by private photographers or outside photographers are subjected to press censorship. At concerts, it is current practice for musicians and managers to examine and delete the photos of which they don’t approve. Some promoters are said to go even further and not only insist on pro-photographers to present them with the pictures they took but require them to pay in order to pursue their jobs. A week ago the Hamburger Abendblatt set an example against this errant development.
Instead of a concert photo of singer Cecilia Bartoli, a white case was placed with the following statement: At this place, we would have liked to present a concert photo of the singer. The Suisse Management, however, set unacceptable conditions: Submit photos for selection during the break, delete those that are non-convenient? We didn’t let ourselves in for that.
I welcome this step of the Hamburger Abendblatt. Even though it is “only” about music or arts and not politics, this development poses a serious threat to freedom of press. And as history taught us, the easiest way to take away civil rights is a slow and gradual one.