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Former Chicago Sun-Times Visual Editor speaks out at CNN.com

By dpreview staff on Jun 7, 2013 at 17:46 GMT

Following the widely-reported layoffs at the Chicago Sun-Times a former Visual Editor at the paper, Robb Montgomery, has written a thoughtful piece for CNN.com about what the decision to move to a freelance work force means for the paper, and the industry as a whole.

These days Montgomery is a media consultant who creates training in smartphone reporting techniques for reporters in Eastern Europe, but spent four years at the Sun -Times, where he worked alongside the paper's team of professional photographers.  

An early version of the Chicago Sun-Times' masthead, in which it calls itself 'The Picture Paper'. The Sun times is Chicago's oldest continuously published newspaper, and dates back to the mid 19th Century.

In the article, Montgomery writes that 'an image created by a photojournalist carries the power to change societies. Great images remain burned into our brains forever.' He also notes that the Sun-Times has built its reputation partly on the basis of photography, even calling itself 'The Picture Newspaper' on an early version of its masthead. Remembering his time at the paper, Montgomery recalls being impressed by the professional photographers he worked with, remembering 'the extraordinary lengths they went to, and risks they took, to make powerful Page One photos or in-depth photo reportage for investigative projects'. 

Photo: William DeShazer / Chicago Tribune

As the Sun-Times moves towards a freelance workforce, and trains its remaining staff in on-the-spot photography with mobile devices, Montgomery worries that although the paper will still carry photographs, what has been lost is 'a tradition of fearlessness, bravery, courage, knowledge and trust that was decades in the making.'

The same article also includes a video interview with Pulitzer price-winning photographer John H. White, who was among those laid off at the Sun-Times last week. It's well worth watching. 

As a historical note, CNN itself laid off 50 photojournalists in November 2011 in favor of using iReporters, or ordinary citizens with smartphones, to provide images for its website, an event the above story does not mention. Popphoto.com, however, reported on the event:

Comments

Total comments: 75
57even
By 57even (10 months ago)

Lets look at facts. If the paper had gone out of business, the PJs would be out of work anyway.

A lot of breaking news content is gathered from the public. Whatever the quality, the impact of a pixellated iPhone photo or video taken at the time of the event is always going to have more impact that one taken later. Reporters that turn up later only need to photograph a couple of witnesses and the scene.

The demand for quality editorial photography and coverage of known events and situations can indeed be covered by reporters themselves, freelancers or news agencies. There will still be "great images" but smaller papers will simply buy their photos from Reuters or some other agency. Very few have the wherewithal to lead.

Photojournalism is not dead. Like many other specialisations it is moving towards freelance rather than salaried employment. The upside is that the freelancer can retain the rights to the image and sell it to whoever they like.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Lets look at facts. You don't have any facts. Cuts are fine when they are necessary, but you don't have any idea how this paper is run. You also gloss over the fact that it wasn't half of one department that was cut, it was the whole department. If papers crowd source, or AP source, or Reuters source their content then they are just like every other paper using those stories. Ever see the local news clips from around the US where so many places use the same story and exactly the same script? The lack of imagination from news companies isn't going to help them, it is going to lead to exactly the fate they are afraid of: obsolescence.

1 upvote
spidermoon
By spidermoon (10 months ago)

Don't think, obey and consume. No need of top photographers and writer nowday, just use emotions, take picture and videos in the very heart of action, put few comments and send them quickly to your reader, before the corpse became cold. Wash, rinse, repeat, with some ad's in the middle. That's the new news today, for brainless zombie customers.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

On the other hand, why do we need pre-ordained intermediaries (journalists, photojournalists) to interpret, write, package, and deliver the news to us? A lot of unavoidable editorial bias often finds its way into that old model of news delivery. A professional writer writes a story from a certain angle or perspective. A professional photographer wants to capture or submit a picture from a particular angle or perspective.

We are now entering an age of dis-intermediation, where we no longer want or need an intermediator between us, and the information or news. Just today, I was on the web reading an interview of Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, while simultaneously listening to the video of the interview playing in the background. I quickly realized that I had no need to read the article (words written by a writer/intermediary) when it was so much better to watch the video and listen to Snowden speak the words himself! I don't need it filtered through a writer!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

"just use emotions, take picture and videos in the very heart of action"

Uh, isn't that what top photographers and writers have been doing for ages? They photograph, write, and deliver this packaged news in a manner that maximizes, heightens, and spurs emotions? That's what "top photographers and writers" have been doing all along. It's an artful manipulation that has been going on for decades (that, apparently, you seem to revere). The main difference now is that with less editorial commentary, less artistically manipulative photography, less glamorization of events and news, maybe we can strip away some of these extraneous layers that exist between us and the news. Rather than reading a writer's description of an event, or looking at a pro pj's single, artistically framed and composed image of an event, I'd much rather see raw video and stills, captured by lay witnesses, maybe not so artistically shot or written about, so I can see for myself and judge for myself the news.

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (10 months ago)

People really need to get their head around the impact of enabling technologies. Newspaper businesses were necessary because of the investment required to run large presses and distribute millions of paper copies.

They are now almost irrelevant. As news switches to online media there will be much greater input from freelancers (both images and content) and even personal blogs.

It is high time news was democratised, even if it causes issues of its own. Efforts by the media moguls to own online content are doomed, and I think that's a good thing.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Another reason for media institutions is integrity, reliability, and accuracy. If you want our news to follow the standard Bell curve of human intelligence we'll no longer be getting our news from the right, above average side of human intelligence and integrity. This is evident in so many different online sources of information these days. And many people can no longer tell the difference between absolute fabrications and real news any more. The democratization of news and information will lead to more sources of information, but not necessarily better sources. Do you really think the American public is any good at figuring out when they're being manipulated and lied to? And in order to avoid a few people lying to us through bias in the media we'll exchange a lot of people lying to us all over the internet.

2 upvotes
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (10 months ago)

CNN laid off half their staff photographer a year ago opting instead for iReporters. So CNN is in complete agreement with Chicago Sun-Times business decision. In fact they made it legitimate to do so.

0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (10 months ago)

The world has changed.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

People have changed.

0 upvotes
tmaras
By tmaras (10 months ago)

JKoch said: KR has so many stalkers. They pretend to disdain him, but read everything he writes and obsess over it for days. It's spooky.

It's funny how some people have forgotten that criticism doesn't mean someone wants to kill a person he criticized. Personally, I'm occasionally reading Ken Rockwell's pages, like some if its content and found some things very relevant at different stages of my introduction to photography. Still, he's bullsh*ing a lot, making his site a place with lower value he can, actually, offer. That's sad. Typical american "this is the best, f* the rest" stuff is not convincing, it's sad from a person of his knowledge and experience as he claims it.

Trying to sell the content using pictures of children also isn't something I would support, even if he, as it seems, takes a good care of his beautiful and creative kids. So what if I said all this? Nothing, its another opinion, maybe worthy of a discussion or switching to http://www.photozone.de/ and other sites.

1 upvote
contadorfan
By contadorfan (9 months ago)

"Typical american..."

So do you believe in typical Chinese behavior? or typical Jewish behavior? Or typical Afro-American behavior?

Using stereotypes to make overbroad generalizations is never good analysis.

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (10 months ago)

Chicago is not really a town known to be brimming with industry leaders and politicians who keep the people's best interests close to their hearts.

It is known for the exact opposite, in fact.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Kendunn
By Kendunn (10 months ago)

I know I am going to get beat up pretty bad by this, but I am going to say it anyway. Digital has made everyone "photographers" and "good enough" has been replacing "stunning" every since. I used to take great pains with a 4x5 and MF to capture landscapes and made a fair living selling them to publishers. Now no one expects that quality, just so long as its good enough, and what is "good enough" has become lower and lower. I remember years ago the first time a magazine stopped using me (and other paid photogs) and started asking readers to use their pics for free, saw the writing on the wall then.
The same thing with portrait photographers, people don't want of picture of what they look like, they want a picture that looks like them stretched in silly putty because that is what others are doing. Sure a little touch up is great, but not running it through a skin correction tool. May even be worse than HDR images.

9 upvotes
calking
By calking (10 months ago)

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Society has been going this way for the last few decades. Wal-Mart makes everything cheap and everyone confuses the term "cheap" with "value." So you get many things cheaper, but you get a larger majority of cheap crap as part of your available selection, too. The availability of very cheap food has increased obesity in the developed world to disastrous proportions and yet many people are still starving. Quantity is interpreted by human instinct as a good thing, but human intelligence says otherwise. Quantity is awesome when the quality is still high. A ton of garbage is still a ton of garbage....unless someone gives you a ton of garbage, he and everyone around tells you this is the best you're going to get and it's not garbage anyway, and suddenly you're diving into a 1 ton pool of sewage thinking all the while it's Evian.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
PeterFXCassidy
By PeterFXCassidy (10 months ago)

Sam Zell was insane to buy the chain, silly to move into an industry he knew nothing about and suicidal to pay what he did for properties facing falling margins. The former owners were irresponsible to enter into a transaction that saddled the chain with so much new, unsupportable and unnecessary debt that it would virtually guarantee financial calamity. The photographers didn't deserve this abuse to them and their craft. The readers didn't deserve to have photography relegated to a sideline enterprise in their paper and the reporters didn't need to have more work hung around their necks because Wall Street helped another monied psychopath buy a bobble to sate his ego.

4 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (10 months ago)

This has occurred in so many other businesses it's not funny. In Australia this was why Borders failed, being saddled with huge unserviceable debt because the shonky owners paid way over the money for the stores, caught up in the toxic property frenzy just before the GFC hit.

1 upvote
PeterFXCassidy
By PeterFXCassidy (9 months ago)

This is the story of our times. I dunno how many industries have been left reeling and dying because Wall Street invented a crisis and set off a chain of acquisitions that provided no real value for anyone but the brokerages who managed the deals. The shame of it is that so many newspapers were murdered this way that were not in bad shape, had local monopolies and solid margins still, even with loss of classifies. If Wall Street had any sense they would have advised local papers to save their money and invest in the development of local newspaper branded Craigslist and AngiesList services and played with useable models for local journalism, you know, stuff that sorry superannuated brats like like Sam Zell could not help them with.

0 upvotes
JMal
By JMal (10 months ago)

John White's interview was all meant to enlighten an industry probably bound to cut an essential aspect of its self. Concerning the part of replacing photojournalist with iPhographers he says it well: "...you can't take someone who fills prescription bottles and have them do your heart surgery."

Note: Please take time to visit my website at http://be.net/jmal

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

"...you can't take someone who fills prescription bottles and have them do your heart surgery."

I'd hardly compare photojournalism to heart surgery. As photographers, we like to have an over-inflated perspective of what we do, but in reality photography really is not that hard. Plus, your average workaday city newspaper photojournalist isn't exactly Steve McCurry or James Nachtwey! The idea of a workaday photojournalist being equivalent to a heart surgeon is just a ridiculous over-valuation of your ordinary, average city newspaper guy with an expensive camera who happens to get paid for it. Photography really is not *that* difficult to do, and it's nowhere close to being in the same league as heart surgery. In fact, photography--particularly your average city newspaper photography-- is actually a lot closer in difficulty to filling prescription bottles!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

Let me see...I can have a city newspaper guy fill my prescription or I can have a pharmacy tech take pictures for my local paper?????

Guess which scenario I'd pick?! :)

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

@Johnsonj - the reality is that neither is very difficult. Heck, I don't even know why it takes a human to fill my prescription at all. Someday, I'm sure it'll be fully automated, with a robot doing it. In fact, a quick Google search for "robot pharmacist" shows that they already exist.

And yes, I'm sure there are plenty of pharmacy techs who are also pretty good photographers, too.

1 upvote
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

LOL...you two are funny. You should be best friends.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (10 months ago)

I'd say that having a smartphone and running around taking snapshots with it doesn't make one a "photographer", as T3 suggests he is.

But if, like T3, you want to "dumb down" all but the most specialized fields of expertise into -- "Ah heck, anyone can do that, what's the big deal" just so you can feel connected to society in an iPhone kind of way, then it's fair to say that this generation of cell heads really ARE living the life depicted in The Matrix -- only NOT as any of the characters who broke away from The Machine to save society from the robots -- they EMBRACE The Machine. They WANT to be "Smith". Alas, though, even in the science fiction that they strive so desperately to defend and force on everyone else in this so-called digital society there will be those who still "live" without being plugged in to an electronic device. The former can't wait to buy Google Glasses -- the latter go shoot nature photography with a real camera in a place with no cell communication.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Nice Matrix reference. "So inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system they will fight to protect it."

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

@ calking

I'll tell you what, buddy. When you can make "nature" photography as interesting as this guy http://kevinruss.tumblr.com/ get back with me.

1 upvote
JMal
By JMal (8 months ago)

In all honesty, photojournalism is really hard to do and complicated. I've done campus photojournalism, and the fact that I have to deliver the best photographs is serious business because we're fighting for limited space in print. Experience builds a photojournalist. But I know for a fact how the digital age has made everyone a snapper. Now, photojournalists have to compete with that.

0 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (10 months ago)

Kill the creation. Kill the creation. Kill the creation.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (10 months ago)

This seems to be the way much of the media works: free-lance reporters, and photographers, but fully employed advertising, and editing, department. When I worked on a local paper here (a fairly big one, considering the size of the staff), the advertizing staff had much better computers, and similar equipment, than the journalists, or the editing staff, as the adverts was what got the paper rolling: no adverts, no paper.

Same goes for TV where most journalists, researchers, actors, and directors are just temporary staff, so those who fill the media with content are totally replaceable, while a skeleton crew of technicians, producers, economics, and figure heads, have a safe life ;-(!

1 upvote
jedinstvo
By jedinstvo (10 months ago)

Why did they fire the photo staff? Because the top managers can see the paper is doomed and by cutting this major expense the bosses will be able to collect their big paychecks for a little longer.

6 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

Man, so true. Same goes for many big companies these days.

1 upvote
LarryDC
By LarryDC (10 months ago)

Did anyone else comment on the adjacent headline on dpreview? While a newspaper is looking for freelance photographers, a photography site (dpreview) is looking for freelance writers.

3 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

I might apply. Depends on how much they pay. If they can beat my pay from Mickey D's I'd be interested.

5 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

And suddenly JJ is explained. No need for further argument. Bye.

2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (10 months ago)

Hardly a thoughtful piece - it's completely emotional.

One has to approach this event with wide open eyes regarding the realities of how people access and consume information in today's digital age where almost everyone has an imaging device on them and swiftness reigns supreme over accuracy and quality of reporting and imaging.

I don't like the way things are going in the news business, but that's the way it is.

We'll see if not having these 28 photographers on staff, but instead having images come from elsewhere will improve their bottom line - time will tell.

3 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Newspapers, unlike television stations, have a great way of indicating the difference between a news article that is primarily conveying facts and a personal piece conveying opinion: they put it on the Opinion page. Note the category this article was published under. I'll save you the suspense and tell you it was published on the Opinion page. The Opinion page is there for the addition of emotion to a news story.
Back when disposable cameras were invented why wasn't crowd sourcing suddenly the only way to gather photographs for publication? It was cheap, easy, only required a stamp. E-mail and smartphones made it easier? Funny that those internet related technologies also made cheap news a competitor for investigative journalism, thus promoting the expansion of blogs, easy information gathering from other cheap sources, and word-of-mouth instant news. Certainly a very important advancement to have instant news, but research and analysis still matter. People will remember soon.

1 upvote
jhinkey
By jhinkey (10 months ago)

"Opinion page is there for the addition of emotion to a news story."

Opinion does not equal emotion nor vice-versa.

2 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Among us humans opinion is heavily influenced by experience, emotion, perspective, background....bias, in other words. It may not be "=" but it is "~". Vulcans may base their opinions on the best logic they can muster, but I don't see any pointy ears around here.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (10 months ago)

Therein lies the problem - a lack of rational thought in opinions.

When I saw the word "thoughtful" in the article description I thought I would read a thoughtful opinion, not emotional ruminations.

1 upvote
tommy leong
By tommy leong (10 months ago)

you are similiar to saying
" there are sooo many typewriters out there"

there is no need for any professional reporter etc.

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Thought and logic are two different things. One can be thoughtful when considering someone else's emotions. One can be thoughtful when considering their own feelings on a subject. If something FEELS wrong, then perhaps that is the basis for a more thoroughly thought out rational for such feelings. WHY one might FEEL that way, for example. What THOUGHTS one might have on a subject that involves strong FEELINGS. The amusing thing about your argument is how cleverly people hide their thoughts and feelings inside articles that are supposedly factual, and yet in an article that clearly involves opinion you jump all over it like a monkey on a cupcake. Get real. Opinion involves one's background with respect to a subject not simply the factual circumstances in which the subject exists. That's why it is called one's opinion instead of one's fact.

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

"You don't get something for nothing"

Quantity hardly ever replaces quality for very long.

C

0 upvotes
scrup
By scrup (10 months ago)

Why all these negative comments directed to the newspaper. Markets are changing, newspaper advertising revenue shrinking every year. They need to do what any business will do to survive. They saw an area that could save costs and made a decision.

For those that say quality will be suffer. Is it better to have a crap picture or no picture. News is global and people want to know what is happening around the world and not just their backyard. 27 photogs no matter how many cameras or zoom lenses they have can't be everywhere. A picture is still worth a thousand words no matter who takes it.

3 upvotes
random78
By random78 (10 months ago)

Newspapers will not survive by cutting costs. To survive they have to improve the value of what they are offering and convince the readers that they are delivering something which is worth spending time and money on. I doubt that further decreasing the quality will help in that goal. Cutting cost my delay the demise but not stop it. And it may even accelerate the demise if the quality takes a serious blow.

14 upvotes
tmaras
By tmaras (10 months ago)

My negative comment is not directed to the newspaper, but to speculative capital owning it, and creating its organizational culture - or more precisely, organizational non-culture. Owner has to identify with the business, has to be proud owning and running it, in order to find some common interest with employees. Otherwise, it's all step - by - step disintegration of society, not only newspapers.

2 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (10 months ago)

Newspapers will die if they can't replace lost ad revenues, cut costs, or embrace new technology. Not one of the people criticizing the papers' survival efforts is about to pay a dime if DPR were to charge for forum use, and I'd not bet a dime that any of them will add a subscription to a print paper just to have paper versions of photos they can see for free elsewhere!

3 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Is it better to drink sour milk or no milk? Is it better to be stupid or incompetent? Is it better to burn or freeze? Yeah, they may have to decide where to cut but that doesn't make them right.

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

Because they should be cutting high salaried management first, not the people who actually do the work.

5 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

@ random78...Newspapers are history. It's a done deal. Sorry, bud.

There's always Drudge and National Review.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

If you p!ss in your well soon enough the water tastes like it. Kill off those who do the work and soon the rest dies. Its about the last man standing here, the top guy keeping his job while letting everyone else go first.

0 upvotes
contadorfan
By contadorfan (9 months ago)

"News is global and people want to know what is happening around the world and not just their backyard. 27 photogs no matter how many cameras or zoom lenses they have can't be everywhere."

True, there is something to be said for spontaneous, on-the-spot image capture. I also understand the economics of transitioning to digital from paper. Still, I'm baffled why news operations don't see the value in fine imagery with good color, detail, & composition. Having the best imagery should be even more of a selling point in the internet, HDTV age. Monitors display images so beautifully. Skilled professional photojournalists can deliver this kind of high quality with consistency

Which is more compelling -- general snapshots or a well-composed image? Which news site would you click on -- one with amateur pictures, or one with powerful pro photography? . Life magazine dominated the competition for a reason back in its day. The modern news site with the best images will dominate now too.

0 upvotes
photorick1974
By photorick1974 (10 months ago)

Just read Ken Rockwell's little rant from the other day. He's a waste. That's the first time I've heard his name mentioned anywhere in a long time. I guess nobody goes to his site to "support" him anymore, so he had to open his mouth. I never cared much for his simplistic reviews about equipment. I also have a problem with him, as I am one of those supposedly "sitting around collecting a living" working in high end photo retail. Sorry, a part timer doesn't have my knowledge base or experience, that's why people come to me, and not Best Buy.

Sorry, had to rant. That guy just annoys me. And yes, I know I went off topic, but he did mention full-time employees and went off topic himself.

To the topic itself, I stopped read The Sun-Times along time ago anyway, always preferred The Tribune anyway, better writers. Hopefully those 28 will move on to bigger and better things.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (10 months ago)

KR has so many stalkers. They pretend to disdain him, but read everything he writes and obsess over it for days. It's spooky.

4 upvotes
photorick1974
By photorick1974 (10 months ago)

Only reason I read his blurb because someone brought it up, other than that, he's not even a blip on my radar. First time I've read him in about six years. Not a KR stalker, thank you very much.

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

@ jkoch2...good call. LOL!

1 upvote
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

JJ, you would love Ken.

0 upvotes
SiriusDoggy
By SiriusDoggy (10 months ago)

Who's Ken Rockwell?

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

"It is a shame that the public can't see this museum-quality exhibit."

This isn't about the "museum-quality" prints people should be seeing, Robb.

This is about MILLIONS of people (photographers or not) replacing 28 photographers. I'd rather pull from the MILLIONS than those 28. The millions are everywhere at once, the 28 are not.

Times have changed. It's official. The dying newspapers can't afford photographers.

They can afford photographs and that's just what they'll continue to get. Those pictures might even get better.

3 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Are you twelve?

3 upvotes
random78
By random78 (10 months ago)

But do you want to sort through millions of those photographs to get the few fit for publication? Or do you want to rely on those 28 who have the capability to deliver what you need?

6 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Your argument reminds me of one I had with a coworker years ago about getting a new digital camera for the office and teaching everyone to use it. We had an old Sony FD-91 in 2004 (six year old camera) and when I suggested we get a new camera he laughed in my face. "That was is good enough! Why spend the money?" Turns out he'd only needed shots in bright light up to then and didn't need much resolution or my help. I wanted 5MP instead of .7MP not to mention less noise and no 3.5" disk. He relentlessly made fun of me...until the day he couldn't get the picture he wanted. Thank goodness the new office camera was at my desk when he needed it. I told him to take the old camera, I'm going to use this one and that old one is good enough. The next day I let him take the new camera...damn fool didn't have a clue how to use it until I taught him. He finally managed to get a good pic with my help. Turns out experience, equipment, and years of study really do help get much better photographs.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (10 months ago)

@ random78...thanks to modern technologies, there's very efficient and fast ways to cull through the trash to get to the gems.

1 upvote
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

And yet somehow we still see your posts.

3 upvotes
whyamihere
By whyamihere (10 months ago)

A well-reasoned article that promotes dedicated photojournalists over reporters armed with iPhones published on the website of a news organization that fired several dedicated photojournalists in 2011 in favor of unpaid amateur iReporters armed with iPhones.

Oh, irony, you sweet, cruel monster.

4 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (10 months ago)

Firing the entire photography staff is a monumentally bad decision by the Sun-Times. I predict that they will live to regret it.

4 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

Probably already are, but in denial to admit it.

1 upvote
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (10 months ago)

I've not read or seen the video, but i do hope this comes back to bite the paper who will have to pay thousands more now, than for photo's that in the past cost them next to nothing....

0 upvotes
tmaras
By tmaras (10 months ago)

Mercenaries are "in". That one called Ken Rockwell is happy with the situation. But who cares: while his country can't service its debt, he's dreaming american dream of free home enterprise. "Commercial" principle of everything being measured by money is at its end. Few bucks they will save by laying off some reporters won't save the principle.

1 upvote
Sean Nelson
By Sean Nelson (10 months ago)

Does this guy understand the irony in the fact that he's training reporters to replace photographers in exactly the same way that happened at the Sun Times?

3 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

He explained his role in this comedy of errors. There is a place for images and video captured on the spot by reporters as a way to augment a story in a digital medium where space is cheap and quality can be sacrificed. In a printed newspaper or a serious story quality and impact are very important.

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

the end is nigh

0 upvotes
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Excellent article. A well-reasoned indictment of the direction publications are going and how little value they and others place on the skills and dedication of photojournalists. You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, and in the case of these newspapers by the time they realize what they did it may be too late. Let them serve as a lesson to others.

3 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (10 months ago)

It's sad that people take so many things for granted. Parents were supposed to teach children not too, but they chose not too. So yep, when its gone, it will be missed.

1 upvote
howardroark
By howardroark (10 months ago)

Instead of producing excellent content the media will simply hold up crap, call it great, and nobody will realize that they're looking at garbage and the paper's are laughing all the way to the bank....or not, since they're slowly dying. Maybe instead of cutting the quality of their work they might improve in order to be more relevant, valuable, and once again profitable.

1 upvote
Total comments: 75