Just hitting the airwaves, the Noorderlicht Photography Festival, one of the great photojournalism events of the year, has been forced to remove an essay curated by Magnum’s Stuart Franklin. The festival’s press release (warning: pdf) states, in part,
The Associated Press does not object to the exhibition as such, but to the content of Franklin’s accompanying essay. This essay acknowledged that criminal acts were committed by both sides [Palestinian and Israeli], but assigned the principle responsibility for the extent of the bloodshed to Israel. Both Franklin and Noorderlicht believe this conclusion is justified by the critical reports [regarding the matter] from Amnesty International and the United Nations…”
The AP believed Franklin’s text expressed a political statement, and further that having AP photos in the exhibition, the essay associated a political statement with AP’s photos, which violates Associated Press guidelines. Whatever the case, this is the first time in Noorderlicht’s twenty years that an essay has been removed due to potential legal threats.