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Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Bob T, May 30, 2013.
Chicago Sun-Times lays off photo staff - chicagotribune.com
Wow, that is sad. I wonder if they went to Diagon Alley and somehow purchased something magical to embed moving images (aka videos) on their newspaper.
A bold and sad step to just get rid of them altogether, rather than drop a few. I hope those affected find replacement work soon enough.
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It's kind of the future now that everyone with a cell phone is a photojournalist. I'm willing to bet this will become standard across most news outlets. It's fairly common with sports photographers
It really ties into what people like Giulio Scolio and Will Crockett have been saying: hybrid photography making use of both the video and still capabilities of the camera are the survival skills of the future and micro four thirds is well positioned to serve that need.
Have you read this by Giulio on Small Camera Big Picture?
Is professional photography as we know it dead? - Small Camera BIG Picture
The world turns ... We touched upon this in a thread started by John, (entropicremnants - man that's hard to spell), newspapers and Tv are struggling to find how to re-invent themselves to fit and be profitable in this digital/internet age.
Essentially, it is a downgrade of the paper's 'art' and ultimately, a downgrade of the written word as it is very difficult to both shoot art and report simultaneously. Resorting to freelance will have a direct and negative effect upon accuracy and image quality. I guess the Sun-Times is okay with "Blogger" accuracy, objectivity and quality. A few years ago, the Los Angeles Times had a similar epiphany/baptism went it was sold to the Chicago based Tribune Company. The Times Chief editor refused to reduce the editorial staff in order to increase the profit margin. After months of fighting the new owners, the Chief Editor made the cuts, stating he'd rather do the deed than an outsider from Chicago and then he himself resigned.
Sadly, as the world gets smaller and news more readily available, the news industry gets less legitimate/accurate/un-bias and more blog-ie.
Yeah I posted about this on Facebook ... sad stuff but not uncommon these days it seems.
Someday I hope people will look back and see what we lost, but I'm not holding my breath, you know?
What? And "garyayala" is intuitive? Go buy some more consonants or something -- they have excesses of them in eastern Europe I understand...
Sad but not unexpected. Not that freelancers are incapable of powerful still images but that a major American newspaper can't afford to keep what probably was a small staff of photographers.
... You have a problem with "A's"? lol
Please. This is no different than any random company replacing their employees with freelancers, part timers, contractors, etc. Which has been happening rampantly for...jesus it's been five years. Sad sure, but it's nothing to do with art and everything to do with slashing costs and employee benefits in an industry that is on its last legs.
Plus they lost Ebert. That's gotta hurt readership.
"Art" is the term newspapers use to describe photos, as in "... Do we have any 'art' with that story?".
While yes, it has everything to do with slashing costs to attain a suitable level of profits ... the end result is a diminishing of the accuracy and quality of "art" in a newspaper.
Generally, out-sourcing hurts the local economy and in many cases lowers the quality of products/services. The 'Free Press' is a cornerstone of the U.S. democracy, a decline in accuracy/quality/legitimacy/news outlets, will, over time, affect the U.S. negatively. This is different than a computer company out-sourcing customer service to India, or the corner auto repair shop buying parts made in China. The free press is so extremely important to our society, that our founding fathers protected the free press in the very first Amendant of our Constitution, top of the list.
And sometimes "Y"...
There's a good chance that some of the photographers let go will end up freelancing for the paper at what at first appears to be higher hourly wages. But when you factor in benefits and lack of a 40 hour week, the photogs will make less. So your right about that.
But I'm also with Gary on this. Quality will suffer as the newspaper industry races to the bottom of the rabbit hole.
And while shooting stills and video are necessary skills for moving forwards, I know that when I'm trying to do both the quality of each one suffers.
Yes. Most, if not all, will report to work, be handed assignments like before, but now will make a lot less monies. In that regard, the quality will not diminish, initially everything is pretty much the same. But those photogs will probably gravitate to some other paper or something which pays more, with bennies and steady. When that happens, what will the paper replace them with? When I was working news, photographic skills were secondary to journalistic skills.
Which arguably is the wrong move -- blogs/citizen journalism/outsourcing/etc can provide low cost news/journalism quite easily. (See Marissa Mayer's stupid comment.) It's the expensive, serious work that will buoy a news outlet that doesn't have CNN/AP volume. But when your executives and investors are seeing dangerous budget shortfalls, the argument of "we need to spend more" is not likely to be effective.
Which is particularly scary, because I'm not sure how much less they could feasibly make. Photojournalism pay rates are already pretty abysmal given the hours, risks, etc. inherent to the job. I sure as heck wouldn't want to do it for a career at the average rates of pay I've seen bandied about
True, but there's value to doing something that you are passionate about, that gets your adrenalin moving every day, and in some cases can make a difference in this big bad world. We all too often fall into the trap of evaluating a job choice solely by the salary, and salary is for many a proxy for how "important" someone is.
FWIW, I wish the world was upside down, with teachers getting paid more than bankers and artisans paid more than actuaries. But that's another story for another round...
Was there meant to be some kind of pun/hidden meaning in your "Tv"? Or was that purely accidental?
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The large metro papers, like the Sun-Times, pay pretty well compared to the small papers. I imagine a seasoned photog will pull down somewhere between $80K and $100K. Google said the average at the Sun Times was $101,500, median $90,000 (2007).
Most all the journalists I knew did it because it's in their blood.