The National Union of Journalists has hit out after organisers of the Notting Hill Carnival imposed a £100 charge for media accreditation.
The union is urging its members to reject the “unacceptable terms and conditions” brought in for this year’s carnival, which includes having to share their work with London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprise Trust.
Accredited journalists are also expected to enter a selection of their work into a carnival competition to find the best photographer or videographer.
Those who apply for media accreditation will have access to the controlled press areas including a press tower, an electronic press pass and invitations to arena events.
On the accreditation application form, it says: “In exchange for providing a Media Accreditation Pass, LNHCET requires and the recipient agrees to share their blog, video, article, write-up, recap, review or coverage of the events attended within three weeks of the conclusion of the event.”
But the union said the £100 cost of accreditation could mean that freelance journalists covering the carnival, which takes place from 29-31 August, were working at a loss.
NUJ freelance organiser John Toner said: “It is not acceptable that the media are expected to pay a fee to cover what is a genuine news event.
“It is equally unacceptable that the organisers expect pictures and video to be supplied free for their commercial purposes.
“For an individual freelance, this could mean working at a loss. We see no reason why freelances should be expected to subsidise the Carnival.
“We would urge all members to reject these conditions, and to cover the event from public spaces.”
The application form states that journalists can still cover events at the carnival from outside the official press areas.
It states: “Accreditation provides access to all areas managed by LNHCET and in no way aims to prevent the public or media from taking photos outside of these areas.”
A statement from the organisers said: “London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust implements in 2015 a new media policy for Notting Hill carnival.
“The policy requires professional and amateur media to pay a fee of £100, provide a high resolution passport size photo to be attached to press pass and share a small chosen selection of their 2015 work, which innovatively reflects the 2015 theme, to be judged in the ‘Best London Notting Hill Carnival Photographer or Videographer of the year’ competition.
“The initiative is an element of the Trust’s entrepreneurial approach to facilitate the development and sustainability of the Carnival.”
It said that the purpose of the new policy is to control media flow in the secured areas and enpower the newly-created LNHCET media team.
The statement adds: “The policy does not intend to prevent anyone from taking photos of the event in the unsecured areas or claim the rights of the work produced by any media representative who participates in the competition.
“Participants are expected to benefit as their work will be promoted by LNHCET to new audiences nationally and internationally.”