Guardian, Journalists' Committee Continue to Shield SF State Photojournalist Who Outed Himself

A local committee of the Society of Professional Journalists and the weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian continue to conceal the identity of a photojournalist present at a murder scene in Bayview-Hunters Point last year — despite the fact that the photographer disclosed his own identity when he entered a picture of the victim's body in a national photography contest.

In a writeup of the Northern California chapter of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee's awards this week, the Guardian refers to a “Student, name withheld,” who was honored with an award by the group for invoking the Shield Law to avoid cooperating with police in their investigation into the killing of Norris Bennett, 21.

The former San Francisco State University student, Alex Welsh, was present when Bennett was shot. He later won a College Photographer of the Year award for a portfolio that included a photograph from the crime scene. In a story published last week, SF Weekly chose to disclose his identity in connection with the images, since he had already done so himself in a prominent, national journalistic forum. Welsh no longer lives in the Bay Area.

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