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Thread: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

  1. #1

    Default Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    What are your views?
    Reporters attending mandatory training on iPhone Photography Basics.

    After layoffs, Sun-Times expects reporters to become mobile photographers: Connect


  2. #2

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    perhaps they're only laying off the local news photographers who take pictures of subjects that can be easily iPhotographed.

    but if it's the entire photography department... everyone will be laughing when they can't get a good shot

  3. #3
    Member 9V-Orion Images's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    Quote Originally Posted by An drew View Post
    What are your views?

    Reporters attending mandatory training on iPhone Photography Basics.
    They getting "citizen journalists" to do the jobs lah.

    Free Photos from Free Labour.
    CS Aviation / Flickr
    Per aspera ad astra

  4. #4

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    perhaps they're only laying off the local news photographers who take pictures of subjects that can be easily iPhotographed.

    but if it's the entire photography department... everyone will be laughing when they can't get a good shot
    Looks like all got retrenched.

    the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire 28-person photography staff including Pulitzer prize winner John White yesterday.
    Portrait of Black Chicago


  5. #5

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    Quote Originally Posted by 9V-Orion Images View Post
    They getting "citizen journalists" to do the jobs lah.

    Free Photos from Free Labour.
    I also notice that the quality of photos in our local papers is no longer like in the past.




  6. #6

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    Quote Originally Posted by 9V-Orion Images View Post
    They getting "citizen journalists" to do the jobs lah.

    Free Photos from Free Labour.
    Hey, you are right.

    Craigslist Ad, Spoofed Screenshot Mock Sun-Times After Photographer Layoffs


  7. #7
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by An drew View Post
    What are your views?
    Reporters attending mandatory training on iPhone Photography Basics.

    After layoffs, Sun-Times expects reporters to become mobile photographers: Connect
    INSTAGRAM papers..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    This is due to the confluence of several developments:

    • improvement in camera technology - even a child today can point & click and get a good photo.
    • advances in mobile phones - that allow photos taken to be sent remotely to a website or the newspaper's editors.
    • coupled with drop in prices that made it accessible to almost everyone

    A long time ago (say, from 1930s to 1970s), cameras and film were expensive equipment that required training to use.
    Photographers learned about proper exposure, films, how to focus, apertures, shutter speed, ASA, darkroom film processing, enlargement to get prints, motor drives, spot metering, push & pull techniques in processing, dodge & burn, etc....
    The people who knew how-to were called Photographers.
    Once upon a time they were esteemed as Professionals.
    Those who made a name for their style were even considered Artists.

    Unfortunately in 2013, not anymore.

    For newspapers, what counts is not the beauty and composition of the photo.
    What counts is being on the spot at the right time when a big news event happens - and taking a photo.
    The newspapers used to rush their staff photographers to the place where big events happened.

    Nowadays, that is replaced by EVERYONE.
    Because mobile phones with cameras are cheap, almost everyone on the street have it ready at all times.
    Any person who happened to be there on the spot when a big news event unfolds, can take out their mobile phone and snap a photo.
    Then send it instantly to a website.
    Of course they can be paid a small sum for the photo by the newspaper.
    That is very much less expenditure for the newspaper than employing a big group of staff photographers.

    In future, digital cameras that have WIFI capabilities will become common.

    For less time sensitive news articles, the OMO concept kicks in.
    Staff reporters/journalists will be trained on how to use their mobile phone cameras.
    The writers are expected to write the news story/article and DOUBLE UP as the photographer as well.
    This will mean big savings in labour costs for the newspapers.

    By early 2000's when computers and word processing software became common place, companies and offices no longer needed TYPISTS. They became obsolete.

    The same will happen to newspaper staff photographers from 2013 onwards.
    Last edited by ricohflex; 2nd June 2013 at 11:13 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    Thanks for the analysis.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    the quality of photojournalism has just taken a Great Leap Forward

  11. #11
    Member Foxshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    the quality of photojournalism has just taken a Great Leap Forward
    .... and landed on the tile with a snake tail on it, like in the snake and ladder game...

    In all jobs there are people who just do the bare minimum for the sake of doing their job. However, there are select few who are doing it because they are passionate about what they are doing.

    The difference can be clearly seen in the result of their work.

    Sadly, more and more people got the thinking: Why should I do extra if other who doesn't is paid all the same?

    The key for me is: Do you take pride in your work?
    Last edited by Foxshade; 3rd June 2013 at 02:36 PM.
    A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.
    ~Ansel Adams

  12. #12

    Default Re: Chicago Paper laying off photography department - News Photographers Redundant?


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