Petition Reuters To Take accountability on the murder of Molhem Baraka

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Molhem Barakat, a 17-year-old Syrian photographer who took pictures for Reuters as freelancer, was  killed Friday, December 20th as he took photographs of a battle over a hospital between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo.

Why is Reuters paying an unexperienced 17-year-old kid to photograph for them in one of the bloodiest civil wars in modern history?

via Petition | Change.org.

There Are 12 Comments On This Article.

    • Seriously?

      who’s fault is it then, the parents? Reuters should never have accepted, published or paid for the images from a minor. They now should be held liable, and at the minimum cover funeral expenses. And never accept images or stories without prior confirmed consent from a minors parent or guardian.

      • Victor John Penner

        A tragedy that anyone dies a violent death, but the young man was 18 according to the article. The minimum age for working in Syria is 12 so it is probably unlikely that this was his first job. He was a freelancer, in a very conflicted part of the world, he grew up in a place where there are soldiers 14 years old.

        i hope Reuters can review their policies, but as long as there is war people will be putting themselves in harms way to take pictures of it.

  1. Reuters was paying a 17 year old indigenous person because doing so was far cheaper than sending in an experienced photojournalist who would demand at least minimum wage to risk his/her life in a war zone. This is a typical symptom of the new era of so called “citizen journalism”. This is an example of a simple yet profitable business model employed by wire services, networks, entertainment and media conglomerates, etc. – Why pay real money for images when you can get them at very little or no cost?

    Only children should be surprised at this event.

    • A photographer who worked with the guy, Stanislav Krupar says: “he told me that he is paid 100 dollars for load of 10 uploaded photos a day. Plus some 50 or 100 dollars as a benefit when his work is awarded as “Picture of a Day” on [the] Lens Blog [of the] New York Times.”
      He says Reuters gave Molhem at least one camera body and two lenses, including the gear shown covered in blood in this widely distributed picture. However, Krupar does not believe that Molhem received safety gear from the agency.

      Source: http://coreypein.net/blog/2013/12/22/reuters-molhem-barakat/

  2. First, It’s still unclear was the guy minor or not.

    I see no any problem he worked for Reuters for 100 $ a day, as I did the same in 1990 on for AP. I covered wars in former Yugoslavia and first Gulf War – I had no insurance, contract, copyright. Nothing, even no AP cameras. But it was my choice and I was 24.

    Guy was ambitious and talented photographer, but his development was brutally stopped. He’s not the first, and unfortunately not the last teenage photographer who died covering wars, usually lack of experience to protect himself, lack of knowledged what to do and where is the line it’s not to cross, but sometimes it’s just bad luck.

    Nothing new. Reuters did the same all other agencies are doing often in that kind of situation: “cheap and good images” deal with ambitious young local guy, gave him a camera and two lenses and goooooo.

    After he died, moral dilemmas are raised, but in fact – all other agencies heavily depend on local photographers in war zones.

    Rest in peace Molhem,

  3. Regarding SRDJAN’s comment:

    Did I understand your correctly that someone doing in 2013 what you did 1990 at a 1990 pay rate is OK? I am unaware of any commodity ie gasoline, coffee, milk or butter whose price has remained the same since 1990 – 23 years ago. Additionally, it is my experience that plumbers, carpenters and almost any other skilled tradesman charges more in 2013 than in 1990. Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals have increased their fees many, many times over the past 23 years. Are you stating that it is OK for photographers to keep their fees stagnant for 23 years? If so, you can hardly blame media companies, stock agencies and clients in refusing to pay photographers competitive fees.