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

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The Chicago Sun-Times may be counting on its reporters to rely on phones more than ever.

It seems the Chicago Sun-Times is counting on its remaining staff of journalists to also become mobile photographers.

As we reported on Dpreview.com, the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire 28-person photography staff — including Pulitzer prize winner John White — yesterday. The newspaper said it plans to use freelance reporters and photographers and blamed the move on a demand for "more video content" from its audience.

Today remaining Sun-Times staff are beginning mandatory training on “iPhone photography basics," as shared via Facebook by media writer Robert Feder and reported by Poynter.org. Feder quoted a memo from managing editor Craig Newman: "In the coming days and weeks, we'll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need." 

Though smartphone photojournalism has gradually gained acceptance in recent years thanks to pioneers like Ben Lowy, a push for camera phone photojournalism from its reporting staff  is sure to continue to create futher discussion about the Sun-Times' new direction.

Chicago Tribune photographer Alex Garcia shared some well-written warnings on his blog:

"Reporters are ill equipped to take over," Garcia wrote. "That’s because the best reporters use a different hemisphere of the brain to do their jobs than the best photographers ... the reality is that visual reporting and written reporting will take you to different parts of a scene and hold you there longer. I have never been in a newsroom where you could do someone else’s job and also do yours well."

He also cited the smartphone's shortcomings as a camera:

"An iPhone is just an iPhone. It doesn’t have a telephoto to see way past police lines or across a field, ballroom or four-lane highway. It doesn’t have a lot of manual controls to deal with the countless situations that automatic exposure will fail to capture.

"The reason why photojournalists have the best equipment on the market is because we use it. Our gear is put through demands that stretch camera technology to its limits by the sheer number and diversity of assignments on a regular basis."

You can read the rest of Garcia's thoughts here

Comments

Total comments: 195
12
spidermoon
By spidermoon (10 months ago)

Iphone won't zooms, who cares ? In CSI they can read a name on a newspapers shot taken by a cctv camera 100m away reflected on a bumper :)

1 upvote
speculatrix
By speculatrix (10 months ago)

Perhaps this days more about their readership and what they demand in terms of quality photo-journalism than the staff of the newspaper?

Let's imagine that the paper did some proper testing in which they presented two versions of the paper, one with best quality images and ones degraded to simulate phone camera images. Perhaps they didn't find any difference in reader engagement (pages read, shared, cancelled etc ) or advertising revenue?

The issue as I see it is that the journalist is there to interview, observe and generate textual records. Trying to take photos as well is going to be a distraction. What's next? TV journos doing their own camera and sound work?

0 upvotes
KodaChrome25
By KodaChrome25 (10 months ago)

Lot's of opinion in these comments. Not worth much. What I would be interested in hearing from one or more of these 28 PJs is how that department was managed day-to-day. What did these 28 people do? How were assignments handed out? Did the paper provide their equipment and support staff? What were the average, low, and high salaries? Was this strictly a cost cutting move? Was there competition from freelancers or were all photos published in the ST from the 28 in-house staff? Stuff like that..

0 upvotes
rogerhyam
By rogerhyam (10 months ago)

Words are *about* something but pictures are *of* something. These are two different modes of mind. You either do one or the other but not both together.

0 upvotes
JonB1975
By JonB1975 (10 months ago)

Well - another news organisation that no longer deserves respect.

0 upvotes
WayneHuangPhoto
By WayneHuangPhoto (10 months ago)

Doing video/photo journalism requires a specialists skill set. I didn't hear anything about reporters getting paid more for taking on a whole lot of new job responsibilities. If the executives think this is okay, and reporters are afraid to speak up, then we have a serious a problem. Is there a union for journalists? Seems they need to be represented without fear of reprisal.

0 upvotes
MariusM
By MariusM (10 months ago)

I try to not wish failure upon anyone, but I wouldn't shed a tear if the paper folds.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (10 months ago)

I think those 28 people could just create an internet-based news service and go on doing what they know best. 90% images + 10% text, that's the way today's information is formed anyway.
They're specialists, they already know the works, and the basics of journalistics are easy to learn: who, when, where, how and why. Maybe they'd just need a skilled editor and an IT man...
It is not easy being dumped, but who knows, maybe there is some luck hidden in it. Newspapers are going down inevitably, just like the fixed-line phones.
I wish them luck, and may the quality prevail.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
avidphoto101
By avidphoto101 (10 months ago)

I think your idea of those 28 photographers forming an internet-based news service is a really good idea.

0 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (10 months ago)

Having seen a few newspapers that have gotten rid of the professional photo staff and handed cameras to reporters I can say with confidence the results will be mediocre images for the paper. These papers do not care about quality.

It is difficult to produce high quality images and writing both at the same time. Each suffers as a result of the journalist trying to do both jobs.

The reader and subscriber is cheated as the quality is lowered.

Some images will be just fine, some good and most less than they should be. The subscriber, reader and viewers will not get what they have a right to expect but will get what the dumbed down paper produces. In most markets it will make little difference as there are no real alternatives.

1 upvote
Mrrowe8
By Mrrowe8 (10 months ago)

Sad but smart business move and truthfully that was way to many people on that staff .. The other part of this is IPhone photography is the wave of the future and especially as far as press photography goes .. We don't have to like it but its how it is ..

1 upvote
exvetkid
By exvetkid (10 months ago)

So reporters will now be expected to shoot video, snap photographs and write stories, expanding their skill sets to adapt to a changing industry. I am disappointed in management's decision to solve the financial issues at the Chicago Sun Times by firing all of the full time staff photographers. Is it really possible that not one one of these visual journalists had the ability to take photographs and shoot video on an iPhone, then write short stories? Newspapers like to talk about the diversity of their newsrooms, but it sure seems like these photographers' careers were terminated because of the cultural bias that exists within newspapers.

1 upvote
avidphoto101
By avidphoto101 (10 months ago)

can an iPhone or any camera phone captures this one?

http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/content/2013/0415/0415-boston-marathon-bombing.jpg/15551317-1-eng-US/0415-BOSTON-MARATHON-BOMBING.jpg_full_380.jpg

I guess they can?

0 upvotes
AZBlue
By AZBlue (10 months ago)

Reporters who tolerate this are desperate. If I were a reporter and was told that now I have to capture video and photos in the field, I would flip them the bird and walk out. All of their reporters should do the same. But I guess they lack the brass to actually make a stand.

2 upvotes
avidphoto101
By avidphoto101 (10 months ago)

ya if u have a wife and 5 kids u would understand why they r lacking the brass :)

many pix that i see in newspapers nowsaday r very mediocre in terms of capturing the moment. My point is that maybe the photographers now have to prove themselves even more w their pix. They have to wow the viewer to earn their salary.

sad news but the reality is getting harder to be a professional photographer these days.

3 upvotes
the Mtn Man
By the Mtn Man (10 months ago)

Great, so now every article will be accompanied by those gaudy "hipster" filters that are all rage now.

0 upvotes
maniax
By maniax (10 months ago)

Good move, All those pictures would be web-sized anyway or printed in a low resolution newspaper. Who cares about dslr qualities then. Iphone is fine enough.

If we wanted real quality we should all go back to the 4x5 press camera's

3 upvotes
Greg Henry
By Greg Henry (10 months ago)

At least two of the major local news channels here in Atlanta decided not long ago to give each of their field reporters iPhones and "let them do the work" of taking photos and videos at news scenes, on top of them having to send in a field report.

The results so far are disastrous, though if you asked the editors at the news stations they'd probably say differently.

News viewers are now subject to iPhone reports with compressed, blurry, jerky video with bad sound for our "news". Way to go.

0 upvotes
Vergilius
By Vergilius (10 months ago)

I'll miss the bokeh.

0 upvotes
Photog74
By Photog74 (10 months ago)

"Average weekday print circulation at the Chicago Tribune for the six months through March 31 fell 4.9 percent to 368,145 and decreased 7.8 percent at the Chicago Sun-Times to 184,801 compared with the same period a year earlier," ChicagoBusiness.com reported a month ago.

For a paper with such low circulation (barely more than 180,000 copies), it was rather stupid to have an army of 28 photojournalists in the first place. The paper has gone from one extreme to another by laying off all of them.

The sensible move would have been to fire the majority but keep maybe half a dozen of them (including the Pulitzer prize winner). My wife used to work for a paper whose average print circulation was around 90,000 - and that publication had 3 photojournalists. For a paper selling around twice as many copies, having 28 PJs was irrational. Having none is equally so.

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

One or two would suffice.

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (10 months ago)

Cheaper solution: tell the remaining staff to use iphones to submit text and photos, and be quick about it, or soon they'll be freelancers too.

2 upvotes
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (10 months ago)

To the decision makers at Sun Times who think just anybody with a camera is going to fill the void. As my grandfather used to say... Wish in one hand , crap in the other and see which one fills up first.

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (10 months ago)

A true void was in store for the Sun Times had it done nothing. People weren't buying it for an occasional Pulitzer shot, anyway.

1 upvote
mark power
By mark power (10 months ago)

Why not give the executives of the Sun Times cellphone cameras and let the fired photographers run the paper. Reporters would only be allowed to make videos, no more wordplay. Editors would be limited to editing twitters which of course would be the content of the paper. The paper would cease publication and only be online squeezed in between pop-up ads.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

Desperate dumb idea. The "what" Times ?

:)

0 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (10 months ago)

We don't need newspapers anymore, we receive news on twitter way quicker than mainstream media. These days almost all breaking news footages are captured with ordinary Cell phone cam by ordinary people. We don't need sleeping watchdog.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

Yes we do need newspapers, We just need much more quality reporting instead of this b.s. sensationalistic opinion garbage coming from most major outlets today. They should focus on quality, not quantity. Most major media are entertainment sources, not real reporting anymore. If they stay that way, you're right, we don't need them.

12 upvotes
Tony Beach
By Tony Beach (10 months ago)

"Right," these days news is so much better than it used to be when journalism was done by professionals -- you know, "sleeping watchdogs" like Woodward and Bernstein.

Faster is not always better, and blaming reporters and newspapers for the shortcomings of an industry that has been taken over by entertainment executives is the exact wrong diagnosis of the problem. Fixating on breaking "news" as opposed to actually breaking the news (remember Woodward and Bernstein?) is the problem these days, and if that's all you care about then Twitter and crappy iPhone videos will fill your daily "news" requirements.

3 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (10 months ago)

My wife recently had to go through ~40 years of old papers for a local building's 50th anniversary. The quality of the paper from 30 years ago would be something I would pay for - it was all local stories with good information and insight. I dropped my local paper about 3 years ago when 75%+ of the stories turned out to be AP wire pieces from the previous day which I'd already seen and read online. They don't bother to cover anything in my town (one over from the paper).

It's a shame, but in the race to the bottom the papers are finding that there's nobody there who's actually interested.

0 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (10 months ago)

Not sure how cutting back on photography is going to help increase their audience. Isn't the goal of media to increase audience size?

These guys are clueless if they think they can build an audience without custom high-end photography. This is the era of the New York Times "Snowfall" article, where visuals are everything.

But you can tell the managers of Chicago Sun Times are completely clueless on design, and audience development, just by looking at their disgusting website. The only people that would find that amateurish website usable are blind old people screaming about government takeover of their medicare.

1 upvote
T. L. Rutter
By T. L. Rutter (10 months ago)

I think for the most part, it should work just fine. It is true they won't get the close-up shots but I am sure that is not their concern. If it's a big enough event, then there will be other reporters and other photographers that they can buy the pictures and video from.

I remember when I first bought my NEX-3 and used the 16mm lens I felt such a loss of power, especially after using long-zoom cameras! For much of the time, I had always zoomed in on my subjects. What the NEX-3 did for me with the 16mm lens was to really capture the bigger picture and I noticed that my photography improved. People know what the nose on a statue looks like... and I found it wasn't necessary to photograph so close! Now, I make sure to take wide shots and even with my smartphone when I go wide I get the best results. These reporters aren't stupid. They will carry their iphone but they will begin to invest in long-zoom cameras and other equipment! You'll see!

1 upvote
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (10 months ago)

This is more about the decline of newspapers than photojournalism.

7 upvotes
tom sugnet
By tom sugnet (10 months ago)

appalling

1 upvote
Steven Blackwood
By Steven Blackwood (10 months ago)

Why don't they just fire the reporters and give the photographers "lessons" on reporting?

7 upvotes
xxbluejay21
By xxbluejay21 (10 months ago)

Because photographers don't have the skill set to do so. Anyone can take documentary photos, even if they're not as good as the ones professionals would take. But who cares about picture quality on the news. We just want to see what's going on.

2 upvotes
Alveraz
By Alveraz (10 months ago)

Suggesting documentary photos can be taken by anyone "even if not as good" is probably the most asinine thing I've read all week. That's like saying anyone can fly a plane, just not as good as a pilot. Ridiculous.

6 upvotes
Mr Blah
By Mr Blah (10 months ago)

@xxbluejay21:
Let's restructure this:

Q: Why don't they just fire the photographers and give the reporters "lessons" on photography?

A: Because writers don't have the skill set to do so. Anyone can write news articles, even if they're not as good as the ones professionals would write. But, who cares about clarity, vocabulary, and objectivity in the news? We just want to read what's going on.

---

Really, both photo journalists and written word journalists have professional standards. Practitioners of both professions simply press buttons, whether they be those of shutters or letters, and yet both require skill to perform well. One can take a photograph with a phone camera after a short training course just as one can write a blog post after taking a language class; in neither case are the results guaranteed to be of quality.

4 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (10 months ago)

With modern technology it is orders of magnitude easier to get a usable newspaper photo than it was 30 years ago. With modern technology it is no easier to get cohesive prose than it was 30 years ago, though the process requires less competence in spelling and grammar.

Will you find Pulitzer awards being handed out to these reporters-with-iPhones? No. Could the paper have charged more for the copies with Pulitzer-winning photos. No. And therein lies the challenge.

1 upvote
Suave
By Suave (10 months ago)

This is what I hate the most on news sites - video "stories".

7 upvotes
Walter
By Walter (10 months ago)

It is sad for anyone to lose their job especially photographers. Times are changing rapidly and every event is covered by some rubbish footage that seems to satisfy the masses who equally publish similar rubbish on their FB status. I bought a newspaper today... not one memorable photograph and nothing but scandal and misery. If a big event happens it is covered with a video camera...or more and more a quick iPhone grab.

The only way to save photography as we know it is to go out and make fantastic pictures that cannot be ignored. When was that last time you bought a photograph?

Sadly we are left with pixel peeping and politics. Everything will be covered in the future and I mean everything ;) news agencies will get their pictures for free. A new App now collates all the photographs taken at your wedding by guests. You can edit the rubbish keep the best for free!!!! I feel sorry for people starting out in photography now.

3 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

Why "is sad for anyone to lose their job especially photographers" as opposed to anyone else?

1 upvote
Simonsimon
By Simonsimon (10 months ago)

Err? Maybe because he's really into photography, like cause we're on a photography loving website.....Derr

0 upvotes
Walter
By Walter (10 months ago)

It is sad for anyone to lose their jobs of course...it particularly bothers me because I have been a professional for about 35 years and and I have seen the profession eroded to such a point where it will soon be gone.... many many dedicated photographers I know personally are struggling to make ends meet. Freebies all round will soon be the order of the day...

0 upvotes
xarcex
By xarcex (10 months ago)

Bold move! Good on you Sun-Times, good on you.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, a photo is just a photo and, of course, a bad workman blames his tools, so if you're a good photographer you can even use a disposable camera and you'll get good results. People should stop caring so much about insignificant labels, such as "mobile photography" and should start focusing on actual results. DSLRs will never beat neither versatility nor practicality of smartphones.

Times are changing. I'm just saying...

2 upvotes
ZhanMInG12
By ZhanMInG12 (10 months ago)

LOL on "DSLRs being less practical than smartphones". There's a reason why telephotos and ultrawides are enormous, and why a DSLR can follow a sprinter and take 9 in-focus shots in a single second but an iPhone can't.

7 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (10 months ago)

Xarcex thanks for proving idiots still exist (talking about you if you dis not get that "hint"), now i got a smile on my face that will last a day.

10 upvotes
Monochrom
By Monochrom (10 months ago)

Where i live newspapers pay everyone who gets their picture published about $18,-, thereby killing the need for a proffesional photographer. Soon they will start using articles that people write on facebook...

0 upvotes
soapman
By soapman (10 months ago)

Seldom have I ever seen someone write so ignorantly. How you gonna get that shot that's 200 yards away, or get that action shot that requires you to shoot 12 frames a second. How you gonna handle the low light when no other light is around. You NEED a DSLR. Also, the reporters are not trained photographers. Reporters report, photographers take photos

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Muresan Bogdan
By Muresan Bogdan (10 months ago)

I would like to see xarcex report from a war zone with his Iphone :))

5 upvotes
Mishobaranovic
By Mishobaranovic (10 months ago)

I would too, i think the shots would be interesting. Have you seen Ben Lowy's iAfghanistan show in Sydney, Australia? Great example of how iPhone's afford access and intimacy in difficult conflict situations.

1 upvote
cercis
By cercis (10 months ago)

IMO xarcex was being laconic, and trolling for responses like the ones he got. But only IMO

1 upvote
MrMojo
By MrMojo (10 months ago)

Don't feed the troll.

Just saying... ;)

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

How stupid.....I'm just saying.

0 upvotes
guamy
By guamy (10 months ago)

Photogs go... cartographers stay..

0 upvotes
Suave
By Suave (10 months ago)

My friend used to work at a cartography company, they all have been let go ages ago.

1 upvote
fastglass
By fastglass (10 months ago)

I'm sure the decision makers (pulling-down the BIG $$$) are just trying too keep the ol' dog (& their FAT paydays) alive as long as possible ... LOL.

If you can't export the middle-class, non-management jobs to the 3rd world - where the oppressed work for near slave wages - Just shut um' down.

My sincerest condolences to the Pro-photojournalists who lost their livelihood.

Photojournalism is one of the MOST important components of a democratic & free society.

Freedom ... we hardly knew ye ...

lol.

imo

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (10 months ago)

I agree. Thank God for the photojournalism which bore the weight of the new American country through the birth of our nation. Without photos, the inelegant prose of our forefathers would have certainly been swept aside as so much useless rubbish by the people.

1 upvote
Gonard
By Gonard (10 months ago)

DSLR cameras, like dinosaurs, are the next to go later in this century. Their capabilities will be built into tomorrow's smartphones. Wait and see.
Wow! That should generate lots of hate mail.

1 upvote
MarcLee
By MarcLee (10 months ago)

Maybe not, but it will show you do not understand physics and optics.

12 upvotes
amvj
By amvj (10 months ago)

@Gonard: You cannot change the laws of Physics.

0 upvotes
Monochrom
By Monochrom (10 months ago)

Try to keep a I-Phone steady to take a good shot! And good luck framing a shot when the sun is directly behind you. And how about mounting a 600mm equivalent lens on your phone? Will look weird if you have to answer your phone directly after taking the shot.

0 upvotes
Walter
By Walter (10 months ago)

That is just what they said to the Wright brothers ... beam me up Scottie.....;)

1 upvote
fuego6
By fuego6 (10 months ago)

I agree... laws of physics need not apply... new materials will enable a revolution... lenses made of water molecules... memory cards need not apply thx to plasma based memory.. etc.

1 upvote
dccdp
By dccdp (10 months ago)

@fuego6: Water molecules, waw! This must be new technology! Are water molecules expensive? Are they hard to produce? I need about 70000000000000000000000000 of them to keep as an investment (I'm thirsty).

1 upvote
Alternative Energy Photography

dccdp said "Water molecules, waw!" and some other mocking things...

You guys mock and mock and mock away.

Times and technology change. The laws of physics may not change, but with our technology we can change how we deal with it. Thankfully, Brodie, Enders, Salk, Sabin, and others didn't give up, and as a result, Polio is not as devastating to the human race as it once was.

I shall continue to use my long lenses, but I will have an open mind to the future. I am not afraid of sailing off the edge of the Earth.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (10 months ago)

Actually they didn't say it to the Wright Brothers. The physics possibility of flight was known even to Leonardo. Probably he'd seen some things called birds. It was the technology that needed to be worked on.

1 upvote
dccdp
By dccdp (10 months ago)

Dear Alternative,

I'll try to translate. You see, technology and science do evolve, new ways of refracting the light may be discovered, but water molecules will always be the same. And just about 70000000000000000000000000 of them (along with other friendly molecules) will always be enough to fill a refreshing glass of plain (i.e., not a new technological advancement that may shatter the photo world) water.

0 upvotes
Central Fla
By Central Fla (10 months ago)

I think organizations and corporations would be well served without a top heavy staff. These corp's run right into the ground with 7 figure stuffed shirts waiting for huge severance packages.

It is time for these folks to get together and start there own company's, they were the ones that got the job done anyway !!

If the CEO of disney 10 years ago gave up just 1/3rd of his bonus, 10,000 minimum wage earners could get a 10,000 dollar bonus.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (10 months ago)

But they won't. Wage slaves will suck the tit of the corporation just as the upper management will. The era of cottage industry and self reliance has given way to corporatism and socialism walking hand in hand.

These 28 could go start up a photographers studio that kicks ass at journalism, but they will quickly realize that there may not be $3-4 million in photographic demand in their area, no matter how good it is.

1 upvote
davecamerator
By davecamerator (10 months ago)

The quality of everything is, like ,dropping, like, every day, like.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (10 months ago)

In another cost-saving move, the Sun-Times' entire janitorial staff was let go, and the C suite will receive training in germ abatement, spill recovery, and dust relocation using iMops.

Oops, sorry, got that one backwards. The C suite was let go, and the janitorial staff are being trained in CYA, golfing, and phone tag strategies.

17 upvotes
mike earussi
By mike earussi (10 months ago)

The second scenario would also result in improved efficiency, as the janitors probable know how the company should be run better than the present management.

1 upvote
Carlos C
By Carlos C (10 months ago)

Agree on the quality of everything....well, most everything is going down pushed by our Incessant pursuit of cheaper prices.
We are doing it to ourselves in many ways. However, there is way too much greed t the top; that will never change.

0 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (10 months ago)

First, there were some earlier comments about the merits of iphone photography. While there are some great examples, and some skilled photographers are able to produce great results, the issue at hand is that those photographers were all laid off. This isn't about the equipment they are using. They now have the reporters, who likely dunno what's gonna work.

And the second point, print journalism has been fading away for years now. I don't see how quality imagery is helping sell it. When I read the local paper, which I read online only, I read it without paying much, if any attention to the photography. Usually it's a story about local politics with a stock head shot.

There will undoubtedly be times when this hurts them, being unable to muster up a decent front page photo for local happening that warrant it. But chance are they are bleeding cash and need to do something to try and save themselves. Canning any reporters is pretty much the last step before turning off the lights.

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (10 months ago)

Journalism is dying anyway. Whitehouse is taping newspaper's phone, congress is deciding is First Amendment should apply to all of just "licensed" journalist. News organization no longer investigate, they just reprint wired news and government press release.

4 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (10 months ago)

Pretty soon all interchangeable lens camera will be bar from event and the only thing real journalist have is their cellphone and Guerrilla photography.

2 upvotes
rowlandw
By rowlandw (10 months ago)

and Google Glass.

0 upvotes
Jarvis Grant
By Jarvis Grant (10 months ago)

In time the paper will realize what a stupid decision this was.

2 upvotes
mike earussi
By mike earussi (10 months ago)

Sure, after they've gone bankrupt and the present management having gutted the company financially after escaping on golden parachutes.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
rgames1
By rgames1 (10 months ago)

I think the sad truth is that only a *very* small percentage of the paper's readership (which must be getting smaller) will actually notice and/or care. I work in the music business and the same thing has happened there: technology has made it easy for pretty much anyone to produce content that's "good enough."

5 upvotes
RoelHendrickx
By RoelHendrickx (10 months ago)

Chicago Sad-Times

3 upvotes
JMal
By JMal (10 months ago)

It is sad that just after publishing my portfolio -- http://be.net/jmal -- this happened. Passion should drive photojournalism.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (10 months ago)

By the time the modern corporations and their efficiency experts/bean counters have rationalised everything completely it is probable that nobody will be doing anything at all. If you do nothing you can do nothing wrong.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

webrunner5:

Good shots of midfield sports action required a telephoto lens back in the 1970s too. No, back then photographers probably weren't using too many Leica Ms for football, but Nikon existed too. And it's still frequent to see photographers with more than one camera body/lens. So an iPhone isn't going to replace that gear in many circumstances..

0 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (10 months ago)

They should have kept the photographers, teach them how to write reports on their smartphones, and fired everybody else, including themselves.

7 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (10 months ago)

Looks like news photography is being lowered to match the current era reporting.

7 upvotes
jimofcan
By jimofcan (10 months ago)

Keep Smiling, the Bosses are IDIOTS!!! Seems to apply at all Businesses

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (10 months ago)

In the years to come, expect crappy published photos and expect articles to have lesser quality...
Expect missed-out right-time-right-moment photos because the reporter was busy interviewing, and also expect missed-out essential interviews because the reporter was busy taking photographs...

1 upvote
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

Huyzer...compact super zooms will ALL have wi-fi soon. More than adequate for web or newspaper.

All of the dinosaurs here keep crying about "quality." For web and newspapers smart phones and compact super zooms are more than adequate. The perceived quality difference at those resolutions is virtually Nil. These small imaging devices will free people up to make better images from a creative standpoint. As I said before millions of kids with smart phones will ALWAYS trump a staff of 30 so-called "pro" photogs. ALWAYS.

2 upvotes
contadorfan
By contadorfan (10 months ago)

Well, no. Among the million kids with phones, maybe 10% will have fine visual talent. And of these 10%, how many will be at the right spot at the right time? A staff of 30 pros will have 100% fine visual talent (or at least significantly better talent than the average phone user). And the staff has critical experience. And they will be in the right place at the right time because their f.v.t. & critical experience has honed their sense for that.
The cream rises to the top.

1 upvote
Tan68
By Tan68 (10 months ago)

@ Johnsonj

...millions of kids with smart phones will ALWAYS trump a staff of 30 so-called "pro" photogs. ALWAYS.

Your point is valid, but what is your intention with the "so-called 'pro'" descriptor?

It seems to have a negative connotation; it sounds like a taunt. Do you mean your comment to be taken this way or was the comment meant to be friendly and lighthearted ?

Lighthearted or not, I don't think the descriptor helped further your argument. Really, it is just a distraction from your point. Do you prefer to close your posts distractions ?

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (10 months ago)

@johnsonj:
We're not talking about quality regarding on pixel resolutions and lens stuff here.
We're talking about quality of delivering visual representation of a story. As contadorfan had said, 30 pros can produce and deliver quality visuals and stories versus inexperienced 'millions of kids with smartphones' where majority of the 'kids' or the inexperienced will just deliver millions of useless and/or unrelated stuff to the editors everyday.

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

RichardBalonglong

You underestimate the power of millions contributing to commons for the use of any media outlet. You also overestimate the so-called pros barely making a living from photography. Finally, you underestimate the creativity and quality that a new found photographer can produce. Photography is not a complicated thing. Anyone can do it. The good ones are not just the technically minded, learned one. Many of the best photographs people do is when they are just learning with their new P&S camera. I've seen this first hand since the digital revolution circa 1999...newbies churning out their best work with their rudimentary equipment and limited "knowledge." Later on they graduate to high-end "pro" equipment and their images begin to degrade. Sorry, but true.

1 upvote
webrunner5
By webrunner5 (10 months ago)

Oh come on. How good of quality do you need for a newspaper spread? And I remember there was life before zoom lenses. That is why people have legs and feet. Plenty of people willing to take their place is they balk about it. Plus like has been said who even reads a newspaper anymore?

I think it may well end up a positive for them. More up close and personal photos and video. Like it or not Smartphones are going to be the death of Canon and Nikon down the road. They will end up like Leica selling Leather covered zebra skin cameras for like 10k a pop to 200 rich dentists.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (10 months ago)

Well, Leica are still selling...

0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (10 months ago)

...And so are Canon and Nikon.

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (10 months ago)

I think this is one of the attitudes that are killing newspapers or more so, newspaper companies. Moving towards web based news vs. print is one thing. Lowering quality because you think the news doesn't need it is another.

3 upvotes
huyzer
By huyzer (10 months ago)

Good luck getting up close and personal to a wild fire.

7 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

webrunner5:

Good shots of midfield sports action required a telephoto lens back in the 1970s too. No, back then photographers probably weren't using too many Leica Ms for football, but Nikon existed too. And it's still frequent to see photographers with more than one camera body/lens. So an iPhone isn't going to replace that gear in many circumstances..

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (10 months ago)

I imagine the paper also owns a pretty good selection of professional camera bodies and lenses that journalists will also have access too. I'm sure the newspaper will continue to hire freelance photographers for gigs. It's a much cheaper option than having salaried photographers.

1 upvote
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

Webrunner5...you're spot on. Unfortunate but our opinions are not valued by many old-timers and gear collectors that come over to Connect to protest.

1 upvote
Dave Henderson
By Dave Henderson (10 months ago)

Your ignorance knows no bounds. Well done, if you keep this up you can be one of the most ignorant people on the web.

0 upvotes
mike earussi
By mike earussi (10 months ago)

I think they should fire their reporters as well and just use everyone's tweets to fill their pages instead. After all it doesn't take any skill to be a reporter does it?

8 upvotes
Total comments: 195
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