Accidents happen on campus. Ranger photographers are sent because it is our duty to record what happens to keep the community informed. Sometimes, the information we provide can help prevent accidents.
The photographers need to be as close as possible to get a good perspective on the accident as long as they are not in the way of the emergency medical technician or blocking exits.
At the same time, photographers need the cooperation of the police officers and the emergency technicians on the scene to get the right information and to be able to determine news value.
Not all accidents are newsworthy.
The photographer has to record what is happening and collect the information to make an accurate report. The decision on whether to publish is made later in collaboration with editors.
In this situation two things collide, the First Amendment and the right of privacy.
People may expect privacy when out in public, but the reality is privacy is terminated when people walk out of their homes or any other private establishment.
If a person has an accident in a public area, photographers have the right to photograph and document the situation.
It is not the job of EMTs and police or fire officials to protect the privacy of individuals by denying reporters and photographers the access they allow bystanders.
Officials also cannot ignore the First Amendment rights of the media or anyone else.