09 September 2019
Chennai: Science and technology journalist with NDTV television channel Pallava Bagla was roasted on the social media for the past couple of days.
On Monday, he faced flak on Twitter for allegedly selling, to global visual media company Getty Images, photographs of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials taken during his official trips to the space agency's office and other facilities.
A search on Getty Images site showed Bagla had uploaded 3,853 photographs.
The questions that were raised on the social media were whether he can cash pictures taken at various facilities after gaining entry as a representative of an Indian news channel and has he not compromised the identify of ISRO officials and others.
But, Bagla denied the allegations.
"Yes I am a 'contributor' to 'Getty News Images', my images are for 'editorial use only' and all were shot at news assignments where I am a declared photo-journalist with Getty Images," Bagla told IANS in a written statement.
"Like any contributor, I get paid. I have nothing to hide. The roles played by me are openly declared," he said.
Bagla said he had been with Getty's predecessor Corbis Images and its predecessors since last at least 25 years.
"Most of my images come with 'standard editorial rights' and not 'commercial agreements'. I have followed accepted global practices of photo-journalism to the best of my ability," he added.
According to Bagla, he is an accredited 'cameraman-cum-correspondent'.
"These 'editorial images' cannot be 'sold' for any other purposes other than news outlets. Getty Images is the world's largest and most trusted source of quality imagery in the world," he added.
"Very few people get to be represented by Getty Images and I am possibly one their longest standing contributors from India. I have not sold these images as they come with editorial use limitations. As a prevailing global standard, News photos do not need model or property release," he said.
On clicking of the images in science and technology facilities, he said they were done with the presence of public relations official and his entry and exits are recorded and security checked.
"So, there is no question of any unauthorised entry, let alone photography. Most faces are public figures and role models in their specific domains who need to be emulated if interest in S&T (science and technology) has to be nurtured," he added.
A couple of days back, Bagla was criticised for shouting at an ISRO official and demanding the presence of the space agency's Chairman K.Sivan at the media centre in Bengaluru to explain to the assembled reporters from different parts of the country the reason for the failure of the moon landing mission.
Later Bagla, in a tweet, apologised for his behaviour at the ISRO's telemetry and tracking centre.