Recognise him? If you’ve cast an eye across the papers this week his face will jump out at you. It’s Mark Kennedy, the police spy who has infiltrated the activist movement since 2003. What was just another image buried away in a local newspaper archive is now of national consequence – a police stooge being arrested by his own.
As soon as the story broke I knew I must have his mug. This picture stems from an action at Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station in 2006 which involved only a handful of activists so it was odds on. What has surprised me about the coverage however is just how few pictures of Mark Kennedy are making the rounds – there are dozens of cameras at every protest imaginable these days and there are photographers who dedicate their professional lives to the activist ‘scene’. There must be many more in the woodwork.
The problem is getting a positive I.D. Whilst Mr Kennedy has many problems on his plate right now that doesn’t mean snappers looking to make a quick buck can be lax with their journalism. Only with a decent contact can you back up your claim that this is your man. Press photographers are journalists too, and they need a contacts book just as thick.
This is why professional practice in photojournalism goes beyond happy snapping. Only by keeping your archive rigorously keyworded and backed up will your picture have its day.
***Apologies for the watermark, but the image is valuable and under strict usage conditions***