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Chicago Sun-Times lays off entire photo staff: switches to freelancers

By dpreview staff on May 30, 2013 at 17:49 GMT

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance reporters and photographers in the future to save costs. The layoffs, which are believed to take effect immediately, were announced to the 28-strong photo staff on Thursday morning. In a statement issued by the paper, it suggested that the move was in response to a demand for 'more video content' from its audience.

Statement from Chicago Sun-Times

"The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network."

The Sun-Times is Chicago's oldest continuously-published newspaper. Today, the paper laid off its entire 28 person-strong photo staff. 

The Sun-Times is the oldest continuously-published newspaper in Chicago's history, and began life in 1844 as the Chicago Evening Journal. It has won numerous awards, including eight Pulitzer prizes, two of which were for photography. One of those Pulitzers was won by photographer John H. White in 1982; he is believed to be among the full-time staff members who lost their jobs today.

We spoke to Dean Rutz - a staff photographer for the Seattle Times about today's news. Dean is from Chicago, where his father was an executive at the Tribune. Here's what he had to say:

'It's incredibly disheartening to read news like this. And it's incredibly short-sighted. The Washington Times and Newsday did the same thing, and it didn't work out too well for either. It's a terrible overreach by executives who don't appear to understand their own product. They haven't connected the dots on how this affects their product. It's a reactionary cost-savings measure that ends up creating other costs and problems they haven't considered. It denigrates the product, and they'll recognize that in very short order.'

[...] Newspapers that see photo departments as service organizations - meaning pictures are an accompaniment to a story, versus something that stands on its own - see that service as something that can be provided by anyone.'

[...] they don't understand the soul these guys brought to the printed page - and that's what's about to happen to the Sun-Times: the soul is going to be cut right out of it. The personality of this very vibrant city is going to be lost on the printed page. Those images that gave it character and presence and heart and emotion will be replaced by something less [...]. There's a price to be paid for that. It's just a question of when they feel it.'

via Chicago Tribune 

Comments

Total comments: 291
123
DKCJB
By DKCJB (11 months ago)

I was recently at a local sports event with my kids and the local paper sent a reporter to cover it. She was using a little silver point & shoot and the next day the website had a picture and a 2 minute video and a short story describing things. She did the story & the photography. I don't subscribe to the paper anymore, just look at it for free on the internet. The internet increased demand for photography & is killing it off all at the same time.

4 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (11 months ago)

Interesting story ! How big is your town if the local reporter is using a P & S ? LOL . Is this paper really serious or what ?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

That's a good example of where news is going: multi-media content and mult-tasking. The writer writes the story, shoots some stills, and also records video. That's where things are not only going, but where things have already gone. Gone are the days of a writer who only write the story, along with a photographer who only takes photos, and no video. That's the old way...the dead way.

4 upvotes
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

@DaytonR - typically, a decent P&S will offer IQ that is plenty good enough for newsprint or website. They aren't shooting for museum display or billboards! Also, it's easier to shoot video with a P&S, too. And the reporter can slip it into his or her pocket. So a compact camera makes perfect sense in today's modern multi-media reporting environment. One person does the writing, shoots the photos, and records the video for the story. Gone are the days of having a dedicated writer who only writes the story, as well as a dedicated photographer with expensive camera equipment there just to take photos...especially for a local paper.

3 upvotes
DKCJB
By DKCJB (11 months ago)

This paper covers a county with 500,000+ population and is part of a media company with over 80 newspapers & websites and 500 employees and it is near Chicago. I didn't talk to the reporter so I don't know if she is employed or freelance. It was more of a seminar, not a sports action event so the photograpic demands were not all that great I guess.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

DKCJB:

Was is bright daylight? Because it was a seminar, I guess there was no real sports action, at least not spontaneous.

0 upvotes
WACONimages
By WACONimages (11 months ago)

Why seem so many people 'shocked' by this. I'm from NL and work as a self employed photographer a lot for the newspaper in my area. I don't believe any newspaper in NL or Belgium have photographers as there own employees for many, many years. But often they still use and buy images of photographers they know well and some of them had a full-time contract way back.

The main problem is that not many news-media have a photo-editor at the office anymore and still most journalists see pics as maybe something to cheer up there article and don't like the idea some(not all!) photographs can tell a whole story by themselves.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rude Rudy
By Rude Rudy (11 months ago)

People keep saying that photo quality doesnt matter.

Remember when a good photo was worth a 1000 words? I guess in our 140 character world, a smartphone pic is good enough.

2 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (11 months ago)

At the very least they should give a better EXCUSE than this .... I can see the writing on the wall, and I can see that paper goes down in term of quality of journalism displayed ..

2 upvotes
krassphoto
By krassphoto (11 months ago)

Yep. Technological progress is not just about getting new and more sophisticated photo gear every 6 months or so. There's also a dark side of it.. And it is not just in photography business, it's everywhere. We have to deal with it.

0 upvotes
John McMillin
By John McMillin (11 months ago)

Dateline, Chicago-- The Sun-Times today announced the layoff of its entire editorial, composition and printing staff. The newspaper will now be published as a Facebook page. "We won't be bound by the elite customs of 'professionalism'," said the publisher. "This newspaper remains Chicago's voice, now more than ever," he told his iPhone.

11 upvotes
Diopter
By Diopter (11 months ago)

Remnants of the Newsweek:
https://www.facebook.com/thedailybeast
(-)

0 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (11 months ago)

This is hardly news since the smartphone camera crowd is very happy to give away their images just to see them posted anywhere. It's part of the social media trend of getting the bragging rights for being the first to post a new picture online. These days, people post every image they shoot, no matter how trivial it is or what the quality parameters are. There is simply no way that a pro news photographer can compete with "FREE" content contributors no matter how good the pro images are. The media outlets are just taking advantage of this trend that places zero value on media content. It's an acceptable outcome because the end users don't seem to care one way or the other.

8 upvotes
star shooter
By star shooter (11 months ago)

Take away ALL digital devices and go back to film then see how many can produce a good photo. Those skills were lost when digital came in. Back when I was PJ we used TRI X and as a cadet, we spent 6 months in the darkroom learning the art.

Newspapers hung on to their staff. This is how they grew, not just producing good news and pics but loyalty form their staff. Not now. Kids coming out of Uni into journalism don't have to be trained in the art of photography. They just pull out their Iphone, a Blackberry or a Tablet and take a pic.

What's happened in the US is happening all around the world. Over here in Australia, News Ltd has sacked 1000's of photogs and journos. Instagram, Iphone Ipad pics are now being taken cadet journos.

The days of news print is numbered. Online news, video, streaming to your Tablet, Iphone, Ipad is becoming the norm and will be increased as we embrace the world of hi technolgy and digital imaging.

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

Frankly, I think there are more better photographers today than there were in the film days. Digital made photography more accessible, meaning a much larger talent pool. And digital made learning the craft of photography easier, faster, and less costly, meaning that this larger talent pool could accelerate their skills faster and more effectively. Additionally, digital made showing, sharing, and interacting with other photographers easier, meaning that your "photo club" becomes the WORLD, rather than some tiny local group of equally bad photographers. That means more feedback, and faster learning. Also, there are so many more avenues and resources by which to get "trained in the art of photography" than there were in the film days. Heck, there's so much photo learning you can get just off of Youtube! All these things have resulted in a higher number of good photographers producing a higher number of good photos than in any other time in history.

13 upvotes
Poss
By Poss (11 months ago)

One can learn sooo much rom the few "Likes" he gets on his photos...

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (11 months ago)

The skills were not lost. What's lost is the barrier of entry that clearly separated the ones with the skill and without it. Now there's a mix and people just don't know any better.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

T3:

Well it sure is a lot cheaper to shoot say 200 or 300 photos now, give them a glance and see if anything interesting happened to get recorded.

Not sure that qualifies as better photographers in the digital age.

3 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (11 months ago)

Since it is through taking pictures you become a good photographer, then the ability to take more photos is a boon, yes?

Not to mention the advantage of seeing a rough version of the shot immediately instead of hoping it came out OK, wait until the entire film is used, make sure it does not get ruined on the way to the lab, processing it, and then start making prints - which to an extent is photography "in reverse", also taking skill.

Quality film-days photos are revered not only because of the quality but also because of the rarity...

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

JadedGamer:

Not sure simply shooting more pics makes you learn to be a better photographer.

But I agree it's easier to learn about some mistakes with the instant review of digital, though not all mistakes.

0 upvotes
Phil Severence
By Phil Severence (10 months ago)

It's easier for untalented people to learn with faster feedback from digital. Talented, intelligent people have had no problem learning with film through history. Otherwise why are there so many more talented photographers from the film era? How many groundbreaking digital photographers can you name?

0 upvotes
Roadtripper
By Roadtripper (11 months ago)

Once again, the employer-employee relationship is a one-way street. If the employee quits, the employer screams "there's no employee loyalty!"...if the employer lays off/fires the employee it's for "cost savings"...where's the employer's loyalty?

16 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

As an employer of mine liked to joke "We expect 110% effort, 24/7, but we reserve the right to fire you at the drop of a hat."

5 upvotes
Ak pinxit
By Ak pinxit (11 months ago)

Well , somehow I have a feeling , that after a while , the paper will acknowledge that it's need its' own man with high-end equipment on the spot .
Surely the photo-stuff will be reduced drastically , but after couple of misses ( like unfit noisy JPGs from smartphone instead of 100mm L lens...) couple of photo guys will find their way back to office .

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

The content of a photo is far more important than differences in image quality that one might or might not even see on a downsized web photo or a print on ugly newsprint paper. Remember, we're not comparing full-resolution 100% pixel level magnified image quality! Most modern cell phone cameras can easily produce image quality that is easily good enough for downsized web display or newsprint.

And even at full resolution and magnified, many smart phones can deliver surprisingly good IQ. In the recent Boston Marathon bombings, investigators were able to get identifying images of the suspects based on the high quality, high resolution smart phone images from spectators who just happened to catch a photo of the suspects who happened to be tiny faces in the background of the images. These were example of not only the importance of the CONTENT of the photos, but also the fact that the QUALITY was good enough for the news story. No fancy L lenses needed.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Poss
By Poss (11 months ago)

It's the monkey behind the shutter that's important not the the actual hardware. You need people that can effectively tell a story. People who know how to get in the right spot at the right moment at the right focal length with workable exposure settings.

You might not need L glass but a properly trained you actually do.

5 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

T3:

Depends what you want to do with that photo, if it's going to be reproduced big on paper or screen then yes it's best to avoid the iPhone, particularly since small jpg only cameras really don't do well in low light. So now the speed of the lens matters, and things like noise free jpgs at ISO 2000 become valuable.

0 upvotes
DenZ
By DenZ (11 months ago)

Photography isn't a dying medium so much as it is one that's becoming less valuable. It's the perfect storm that led to this decision. Everyone's got a camera in their pocket, newspapers have no money on hand. Put one and one together and it's a race to the bottom, to see who'll sell their pictures for the least (or nothing at all). And you know what? Most readers probably won't even notice or care. To them, a picture's a picture.

7 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

Advertizing is slowly, but surely, abandoning printed media, and with that the present change of focus, from newspapers to the news sites on the internet. As the ability earn a decent living out of photography goes down, the number of pros will decline as well. Some make the change to video well, some don't.

High resolution prints have always been a rarity, but good photographers will always be needed, but if it is the guy with the costly digital MF camera, or the pro FF DSLR, that will dominate is very doubtful!

The really famous guys of yesterday did almost as well with a Kodak Brownie, as their extremely expensive pro equipment, as photography is just as much about composition & lighting as it is having a decent camera kit - not that long ago the majority of the news photographers just had fixed lens cameras. The exception was the Leica guys, but they were very few indeed. SLRs were around for a long time before they got accepted as useful from a pro's point of view.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

When I was born, in the early 50's, fixed focus was the norm, like Rollieflex (my dad had one), but in the 70's came the SLRs to dominate, as the grittier Tri-X look was thought to be younger and more up to date (like today's Instagram, that changes a decent shot to something out of the 70's).

Today, a few pros use Nikon V1's and MFT cameras to get back to that feeling, others use Ricoh's to attain the same feeling!

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Times change. The old ways yield to new ways. This certainly doesn't mean the end of photography, or the end of photojournalism. Right now, we're going through a rapid and significant change in all areas of media production, media distribution, and media consumption. It'll take a while for it to all get sorted out. This is simply evolution in action. If an asteroid hit our planet and wiped out 99% of life on earth, new life would still rise from the ashes. The same goes with the world of media, news, and photojournalism.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

I don't know about those darned asteroids but the evolution we have here is from employment to unemployment. Things will eventually sort out, but with fewer jobs.

2 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (11 months ago)

Great decision. With the money they'll save all the Execs can now get a big pay rise for their foresight in cutting the salary bill ;-)

13 upvotes
ScottRH
By ScottRH (11 months ago)

dont remember last time I read a newspaper.

2 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (11 months ago)

But if your feed reader brings you articles from any websites that are also newspaper brands, then you're still affected by this story.

Stories and pictures don't write themselves...

1 upvote
TWIZEEL
By TWIZEEL (11 months ago)

I pretty sure your sentence could be shorter. Like that:
...dont remember last time I read...

0 upvotes
tom60634
By tom60634 (11 months ago)

The following url will give you an idea of the compensation that's offered to photographers for their photo files.

http://useeit.abc7chicago.com/MemberCreate.aspx

If you don't want to read through the agreement the answer is NOTHING.

This is one of the Chicago nationwide network media outlets. Chicago has 5 other major TV news outlets with similar photo programs.

You have to factor in that the news departments for television have traditionally been the most consistently profitable. I would expect to see more of the same, as our MBA programs seem to churn out monkey see monkey do type of corporate executives.

10 upvotes
Arhat
By Arhat (11 months ago)

We live in a "sensation overload" era. Lend an ear to what passes as music these days. One of the consequences seems to be a growing lack of sensibility in several domains, translated as "freedom of expression".
One of the main benefits of a classical education is that one learns to acknowledge that boundaries, frames of reference, are codes that allow a true conversation between the artist and the public.
Considering the current level of humanities teaching, the "anything goes, as long as it's free" mood isn't surprising at all.

2 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

I think we're back in the 70's where anything different from the old school was considered young and advanced, no matter how shoddy their work actually was. I am pretty sure the pendulum will swing the other way, one day, but it is not here, and now!

0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (11 months ago)

100 million kids with camera phones will always beat a staff of pros with the best gear.

2 upvotes
Doug Pardee
By Doug Pardee (11 months ago)

"iPhone and be there."

6 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

Get one of those hats Matt Drudge wears and put a slip of paper in the band that says "Press".

1 upvote
kelpdiver
By kelpdiver (11 months ago)

if you don't mind your paper looking right at home next to the tabloids in the checker stand.

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (11 months ago)

The people who might look at their website don't care what print news looks like anymore, the newspapers are all dead or dying. The fact they are catering to slobs who want to sit and watch amateur video instead of reading a story points that out.

1 upvote
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (11 months ago)

Kelpdiver

1- Papers are history

2- You obviously have not seen what creative youngsters are doing with their iPhones

0 upvotes
Stan Burman
By Stan Burman (11 months ago)

I'm betting that the Chicago Sun-Times just didn't want to pay the ridiculous subscription fees for Adobe's Compulsory Cloud.

36 upvotes
dweberphotography
By dweberphotography (11 months ago)

You just made my day. :D

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

You made my day as well!

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (11 months ago)

Sounds like they are well on there way to making The Chicago Sun Times a blog. Newspapers always kill their strengths, and expand their weaknesses.

4 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (11 months ago)

Yes, I expect the journalists to be the next to go... replaced by AP/Reuters cud-chewing and unpaid bloggers.

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

Wouldn't be surprised if the juornos will be next - many paper owners here have closed down various editions the last few years, with a massive loss of jobs for us journos. Spent the last ten years as a bus driver, sigh ...

1 upvote
PhotoHawk
By PhotoHawk (11 months ago)

Reminds me of Kurt Vonneguts Player Piano. Only question is whether the professional photographers will become reeks or wrecks.
On the other hand should a monkey become able to write a book all authors will work for peanuts. Some would have us believe we are already there. Why would photography be any different?

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

Metro is the most successful paper worldwide, and they sure use a very small staff, buying most material from other sources. Quality paper it isn't, but it is one of the few that really is making a lot of money, even without any subscribers!

0 upvotes
Felipe M
By Felipe M (11 months ago)

J. Jonah Jameson works for the Chicago Sun Times?

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

Jenna Jameson works for the Sun-Times.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (11 months ago)

Yeh, took over from Perry White. Booted out Jimmy Olsen years ago but now Spidey's smiling.
Rumour is that the Journos are next and Clark Kent is trying to bite his nails ;-)

0 upvotes
Alternative Energy Photography

Maybe the Sun Times fired the photographers because they don't want to pay Adobe's monthly subscriptions for 28 people.

$50 X 28 = $1,400 monthly, plus a few more copies for editors and maybe Lightroom for all those too.

Freelancers are responsible for the cost of their own tools.

As a society, we are what we have wrought.

9 upvotes
kelpdiver
By kelpdiver (11 months ago)

while there are minor snark points to credit here...
1) you don't need a copy for every person. You could have a handful of PP folks at the office, let the field shooters keep shooting
2) $50/month is a tiny expense compare to cubicle space, disability, unemployment, and of course salary and benefits. And even if they were buying the outright licenses every X years, that's still a chunk of the $50 being spent.

0 upvotes
Alternative Energy Photography

Snarky satire was indeed my goal there. ;)

You are correct in everything you said. Photogs proably don't do a lot of their own editing for big newspapers anyway, that's a job for editors. And big papers have gotten a bit lazy in many ways. They probably get 90% of their photos from Reuters, The AP, iStock, or Getty. The remaining 10% can easily come from video media or cell phones.

If somebody comes to us asking for a photo of yours that is significant in some social or newsworthy way, it's hard to imagine most of us telling them "no". Oh sure, we can all say we'll have our pride, but do we really? People will agree to be on a reality show and put the most personal parts of their lives on display, wide open for the world to see.

And we have blogs and video blogs. Wordpress is for people who want to publish their own stuff cheaply or for free.

Reporters and authors are probably next.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Dan4321
By Dan4321 (11 months ago)

Evolve or perish.

0 upvotes
Karaya
By Karaya (11 months ago)

As a species I think we are doing both. We adapt thru our technology, but our greed and short sightedness is likely to lead to our demise.

9 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

Wasn't that something from The Wrath of Khan? Evolve from making things to buying things from China. Or go back to school. I understand the one word to remember is "plastics".

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

I'm still looking for Ann Bancroft.

0 upvotes
Andrew Maltzoff
By Andrew Maltzoff (11 months ago)

I used to work for Tower Records when vinyl was kicked out by CD's, which are now almost a thing of the past. Yet people still listen and apreciate music with more people being able to produce them..
Photojournalism is the same. Times are changing, the skill and passion hasn't. If anything it's an open market where anyone, if they're good enough can be part it.
The only danger is the overall standard of Photojurnalism could diminish without a level to aspire to become.
Interesting times ahead!!!!

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Sure is a lot more data on a CD than in an MP3 file.

5 upvotes
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW - First of all, MP3 isn't the only music file. Most audiophiles use lossless music formats such as FLAC. Secondly, while CD's may technically have more data than MP3, the question is whether you can actually hear the difference! Unless you're listening with the best speakers, in an optimized listening environment, doing a side-by-side listening comparison of CD's vs MP3's, most people will never be able to hear the difference. I like to think I can, but most of the time I can't. Forget about being able to tell the difference in a car, or while walking around in the real world with headphones!

I'm glad my house is no longer cluttered with stacks and shelves of CD's. I'm glad I now can store thousands of songs on a small harddrive or tiny iPod or on my smart phone (in lossless or MP3 formats). I don't miss CD's at all. And if anything, people are enjoying their music MORE now than they did in the age of CD's. I know I am. And isn't that what music is about? Enjoyment?

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

T3:

WAV files on CDs have more data than FLAC files. Yes, one can hear the difference--it's real easy with a decent sound system, even from a computer. Though avoid play back in the iTunes software. You really don't need the "best" speakers to hear the weaknesses in FLAC files or MP3s. Don't need an "optimized" environment either.

I'm tired of people walking around with headphones on listening to whatever. They should concentrate on walking, other people, cars, bikes, dogs, etc.

Here's a hint for dealing with piles of CDs, you can rip them to a hard drive in the WAV format, then play them back. Once you've done that, put them in a box in the attic.

Again: MP3s, particularly the lower bit rate ones, pretty much sound like crap. And the iTunes software rarely helps.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Serge Mailli
By Serge Mailli (11 months ago)

Tower Records was my favorite store in Atlanta back in the days! I still have several LPs purchased from there.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW - hate to break it to you, but most of us are out enjoying the world, WITH our music at hand, ready to be enjoyed whenever and wherever the mood suits us. Do you realize how old and outdated you sound when you say, "I'm tired of people walking around with headphones on listening to whatever." LOL. You sound like an angry old man waving his cane at the world. Yes, how terrible that younger people can do more than one thing at the same time!

And frankly, I'd put your "one can hear the difference" to a true, scientific test, where real stakes were on the line. In real world tests, most people who really think their perception is good enough to tell the difference fail at this test. In other words, if I just played a song and asked if it was FLAC or WAV or MP3, 90% of people wouldn't do better than simple chance. And more importantly, it shouldn't impede your ability to ENJOY the music.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (11 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW- as for your tip on "dealing with piles of CDs", again you're showing how outdated you are. For most of us, our "piles of CD's" disappeared years ago. What next, you're going to give tips on how to use the internet?

Seriously, though, the point of all this is that people today are far more interested in content (music, movies, shows, news), rather than old paradigms of physical media. While the older generation may still obsess about "more data on a CD", the rest of us are streaming music from the cloud, watching TV shows and movies streamed across the Netflix, getting our news on our smart phones, without the need for physical CD's, DVD's, Blurays, newspapers, or whatever physical media.

0 upvotes
Poss
By Poss (11 months ago)

Unfortunately, most people CAN'T do more than one thing at a time yet they insist they can. I'm driving to work every day...

Worse, the technology and the social media brought us an inability to focus without precedent in history. Nowadays the vast majority of people have major trouble focusing on doing ONE thing right.

That's the beauty of physical media. I can read a book without being bothered by Facebook status updates of people I don't even know in real life flashing insistently on a corner of my page. I might even pop up the odd LP on my turntable for a nice background and when it ends I have to get out of my chair, stretch a bit then go and flip it over so it's healthier too...

2 upvotes
Rude Rudy
By Rude Rudy (11 months ago)

Thats silly. The media has changed (film to digital) but the professional is still playing the music.

Chi Sun Times wants skippy (and not Led Zep) to play tune and call it Stairway To Heaven.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

T3:

Sorry good sound quality matters to many. Digital is generally problematic, and it's best to have the biggest files possible as a work around. That's WAV, not FLAC.

People really shouldn't listen to music while walking around a city or town with anybody else in it. Nor should people walk down the street while texting.

One of the things about steaming Netflix, is that it's not a download, so if you stop in the middle you have get back to that middle. Also DVDs hold more data, and have things like commentary.

Except for things like webmail, content from the cloud is mostly a dumb idea, particularly if it can only be steamed. I can download a copy of say a NYTimes article that I wish to keep.

Now there are better MP3s, but they take up more space, and storage space isn't really a problem for audio files.

The point is that you had the CDs, and wasted all that money on crappy MP3s, instead of ripping your CDs to a hard drive as WAV files, then converting to MP3s.

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (11 months ago)

"WAV files on CDs have more data than FLAC files. Yes, one can hear the difference--it's real easy with a decent sound system, even from a computer."

WAV files have more data the FLAC files constructed from those files? Not possible. The "L" in FLAC stands for "lossless". You get the same data out of a FLAC file that you put in to it. Anyone who claims to hear a difference is lying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossless_compression

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (11 months ago)

zkz5 is absolutely correct here. When listening to a FLAC file it is first uncompressed back to the WAV it came from, and it is identical to the original one. So there can not be any difference in sound. People still might imagine a difference if they know what they are listening, mind is a strange thing. In blind tests nothing would be found.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

Yeah, tomorrow will not be like today, nor like yesterday!

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Petka:

Quote:
"When listening to a FLAC file it is first uncompressed back to the WAV it came from."

See the problem? It's going from compressed back to uncompressed.

zkz5:

WAV files have more data than FLAC files, and starting with CDs one gets WAV files. So why make this statement: "You get the same data out of a FLAC file that you put in to it."? The point is, starting with a CD, one doesn't even need to go through the process of throwing out data by creating the FLAC file.

So I checked, did a conversion to FLAC of a WAV file (used JetAudio as the converter and player), the file shrank to a bit less than half the original size. And it lost something at play back, albeit slight and I don't like the JetAudio player very much, but it's the only one that I have that will play FLAC files.

Now I could lessen the compression, do another conversion and that would help, but the point is just play the WAV file. Or use a decent turn table.

0 upvotes
Jcradford
By Jcradford (11 months ago)

Some folk like to achieve high quality, know it when they see/hear it and the process of getting there, similar to photography, car collecting, etc. Which doesn't make the low end crap, its just a different segment of preference, budget, time, and purpose. It's all good.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Jcradford:

Of course there's a reason for compressed files and jpgs can certainly look good, and some MP3s sound okay, if a bit empty. But that's not the point.

The point is why toss out all of the data if you have the CD to begin with?

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (10 months ago)

"WAV files have more data than FLAC files, and starting with CDs one gets WAV files. So why make this statement: "You get the same data out of a FLAC file that you put in to it."?"

Because it's true. FLAC files are smaller because the data is expressed more efficiently, not because data was discarded.

"one doesn't even need to go through the process of throwing out data by creating the FLAC file."

You do not throw out any data by compressing with FLAC because you can get exactly the same data back out of a flac file that you put in to it.

"FLAC of a WAV file ... the file shrank to a bit less than half the original size."

Now decompress the FLAC file back to a WAV. Compare the output WAV with the original. They will be 100% identical, bit for bit, so it is impossible to hear a difference.

"And it lost something at play back, albeit slight"

Not possible unless JetAudio is broken. How exactly did you verify that it "lost something"?

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (10 months ago)

"See the problem? It's going from compressed back to uncompressed."

No. The decompressed data is 100% identical to the original data. As I already pointed out, this is the definition of lossless compression. Read the wikipedia article.

This web page you are reading right now (and just about every web page) was similarly compressed with a lossless compression algorithm called gzip. Other extremely common examples include zip archive files and PNG images.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

zkz5:

Decompress FLAC back to WAV isn't exactly an option, I guess I could use Convert, and perhaps it would work, but who cares the point was that FLAC files are in fact compressed. That compressing tosses data. (Jpgs saved as tiff files also get bigger but don't equal a tiff from the camera or from a raw file).

Even if some how conversion conversion from WAV to FLAC and then from FLAC to WAV equals the original WAV file sound quality, why bother? The files on CDs are WAVs and the point was how to easily save the better sound quality of the WAV files. It's not like storage is really expensive.

Then at playback something is missing from FLAC files. That's playback of the FLAC files not WAV files remade from the the FLAC files, but I'm perfectly happy to try that out too.

Look there's a lot more data in a FLAC file, therefore they sound better than MP3s, same is true of WMA files.

0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (10 months ago)

Decompressing FLAC files is always an option because FLAC files cannot be natively understood by hardware. Wether you're uncompressing the FLAC file in real time with an audio player program to "play a flac file" or as quickly as possible to "decompress a flac file to a wav file" the result is exactly the same: you get exactly the same data from decompression that you put in to compression.

JPEGs lose data because they are lossy compression. Most RAW file formats do in fact employ lossless compression. Do some math on your raw files. You will probably find that there are fewer bits in the file than would have been output by the sensor.

MP3s and WMAs are examples of lossy compressoin which is why they can be made so much smaller than FLAC.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

zkz5:

Okay, after checking, I agree that WAV files rebuilt from FLAC sound pretty close to the original, however as best as I can tell JetAudio plays FLAC files natively, and those are missing something. Audacity (free music editing software) also plays back FLAC files and they lack something--all too be expected because half the data isn't making it into playback. Similar results with the "lossless" WMA files. Perhaps there are differing rebuild equations, if the playback software is indeed using a rebuilt WAV file when starting with a FLAC file.

This is all interesting enough to learn, but none of this has much to do with my original points: MP3s mostly sound pretty bad, and since T3 was starting with a pile of CDs, there were high bit rate WAV files to be had.

As for photo raw files, maybe I guess, but to check I'd need exact sensor specs, and probably some knowledge that I don't have. Albeit, sometimes one can pick the raw's recorded bit depth.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (10 months ago)

Like I said, there's no significant difference between "play a FLAC" and "convert FLAC to WAV" so all of the original data is making it playback unless some of your software is malfunctioning which seems unlikely.

I bet if you did an actual blind test you would not be able to tell any difference. When such tests are done with MP3 they usually come to the conclusion that by 320kbps nobody can tell the difference between the MP3 and the original let alone FLAC and WAV.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

zkz5:

No, there is a difference between a WAV file and a FLAC file.

The general problem is that digital recording sounds empty and frankly annoying--that's less true the greater the bit rate. Also the playback software very much matters.

And I certainly concede that higher bit rate MP3s sound better, FLAC and WMA files can then do an even greater bit rate.

Until version 11 the iTunes software sounded pretty awful, it's better now, still not the best though. And the big thing that iTunes 11 added is the capacity to playback overtones and undertones, in other word sound beyond what's considered "human" hearing. DACs already do that but somehow even with a DAC the old iTunes managed to take files (including WAVS) and make them sound awful.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jedinstvo
By jedinstvo (11 months ago)

Last summer I had some photos on a national story and I got 50 calls from picture editors. Not one wanted to pay. They all wanted "to share." I asked every one of them "are you working for free right now?" The problem is there are so many people shooting pictures and they now have the ability to transmit quickly and reliably. So the image that went around the country was from a local fishing boat captain. It wasn't as good as my photos, but it was free. Newspaper management all over the country has decided photographers are dead weight.

21 upvotes
ScottRH
By ScottRH (11 months ago)

"The problem is there are so many people shooting pictures and they now have the ability to transmit quickly and reliably."

That is a great thing, not a problem. change or die.

2 upvotes
Diopter
By Diopter (11 months ago)

Photographers may be “dead weight” right now but the “photo opportunity” may become a widely sellable item.
Paying photography license for photographing places and events has plenty precedencies and it may be a common practice soon.
(-)

0 upvotes
brunobarolo
By brunobarolo (11 months ago)

In response to ScottRH: And live with poor images in your newspaper. What a great thing!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
Nishin
By Nishin (11 months ago)

Most people crying "change or die" are obviously consumers, not photographers. When the only reason for change is cost effectiveness, then all photo journalists will die at the end - no matter if employed staff or freelancing.

9 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (11 months ago)

@brunobarolo: More competition between professional photographers should lead to better images.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

"When it's your neighbor's job, it's a recession. When it's your job, it's a Depression". I have long argued that we need to evolve from people who earn a living wage into people who will work for less than the Chinese. Then, we'll be competitive. Until the Vietnamese undercut us.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

xlynx9:

"competition" between Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King, has not lead to better cheap burgers.

2 upvotes
kelpdiver
By kelpdiver (11 months ago)

why we often find is competition leads to lower prices at lower quality, because for enough people, cheap is more important than good. Now just about everyone has a point of diminishing returns where you no longer see value in paying incrementally more. But the point we're seeing now is closer to 'monkey with an iphone who will give away their image for free.'

0 upvotes
kelpdiver
By kelpdiver (11 months ago)

yes, the burger wars brought us pink slim.

0 upvotes
Rude Rudy
By Rude Rudy (11 months ago)

And they have never had a professional career. They are just working "Jobs".

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

Xlynx9: I don't see why competition would eventually lead to better photos, as the lowest price will win, over and over!

This has been true in any business, for years and years, till society steps in, and take over. Train companies in Sweden competed to death, till the government took over for society's best. Then, in cost cutting times (around 20 years ago), the company was sold in bits and pieces, so now we're back to square one, with a disorganized train system, where you can't use one ticket to go from one end to the other. Eventually, a new government will step in and unite the lot again, in an effort to improve the quality of the services to the public.

Having two competing systems that might help quality, but having everyone competing with everyone, drains resources, and quality.

Garbage disposal is an classic example: In a world-wide comparison one fact stood clear, monopolies were bad economically, private or government, more than two competing systems were equally bad!

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (11 months ago)

Have you tried selling a product of yours you know is really good?! An article, or a photo? It takes a lot of your time, and success is not guaranteed.

Picture bureaus were there to help the free-lance photographers: No more spending all that time looking for customers, but now even these are slowly disappearing, as so many out there take photos, often for free. So now everyone is back to square one, looking for customers. Will that improve picture quality?! Don't think so!

0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (11 months ago)

By that line of thinking, cameras should be getting worse as time goes on.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

xktbx9:

Some cameras are getting worse, my 4MP Canon G2 often does better images than more modern cameras, and that's even shooting jpeg with the G2.

0 upvotes
Adam L Productions
By Adam L Productions (11 months ago)

Can't say I'm surprised. There aren't very many people who value professional photography. The majority are perfectly fine with cell phone pictures, despite how ugly they are, and technically inferior to even entry-level DSLR images. The biggest issue is a matter of using what's available when the action happens. Almost everyone carries a cell phone. Unless you're a big-time photographer, the chances that someone with a nice DSLR will be at a scene withing minutes of it happening is rare. Not so with cellphones, which can capture an image, and video, as the story unfolds. It's just reality. I may not like it, and I'd much rather view a nicely composed photo, but for news a lot of the time that's not practical.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (11 months ago)

Sounds like desperate times for the newspaper's management...

0 upvotes
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (11 months ago)

The industry is going to continue to rapidly change. Better and more expensive hardware out every year (especially videography since we are at the forefront of it), easy-to-use but sophisticated pp software, endless free resources for learning, changing demands of the industry, and a lot more people buying SLRs, which will lead to more people rising above that is capable of producing quality output...and maybe some who are more hungry and eager to learn...this is just the beginning. Adapt and stay competitive.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

But it's rarely simply all about the gear, and even if you know how to use the gear, have it, you have to have some way of relating that picture to the content of the newspaper.

An actually experienced photographer, either pro or amateur, can usually do better work with not the most sophisticated gear--I can only really think of an extreme lowlight exception).

Owning a table saw doesn't make you a good cabinet maker. There are a lot of idiots who own (drive-sort of) BMW M3s, and few of them know how to drive well, let alone drive a car of that performance and sophistication.

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

I guess you missed the line "which will lead to more people rising above that is capable of producing quality output"? Better and easier-to-use technology means more people trying it out, learning, and sticking with their hobby. More people from that will choose to do it professionally.

Let's look at a purely imaginative world where 1 out of 10000 first time DSLR buyers matures into a pro photographers, and the industry sells a million DSLRs a year. That will yield in 100 pro photogs that emerge eventually. 15 years later, if the industry started selling 10x more DSLRs a year to first time buyers, and technology improves where 1 out of 5000 of the people who bought eventually matures into a professional, is there nothing to worry about because it's not all about gear?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

Michael Ma--

Um possibly, quote: "Better and easier-to-use technology means more people trying it out, learning, and sticking with their hobby. More people from that will choose to do it professionally." But possibly not.

More dslrs out there may mean better photos available, because the dslr is not inherently limited like the iPhone. But people aren't always interested in getting much out of gear. Those likely to become pros will try more, but why destroy the pros?

Then, quote: "which will lead to more people rising above that is capable of producing quality output" doesn't exactly make sense--missing something. I guess it means that more people with better gear makes for a greater number of good photos, yes, but again they need to be available to editors. Then there are lots of cheap tablesaws and few good cabinet makers.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (11 months ago)

Yes, a sign of the times, but in the sense that these days good management and visionary leadership is rare. It's certainly lacking here. This is horrible news for photographers employed by newspapers. I really feel for them because I bet a lot of them work their tails off, have families to support, and are very skilled in their field. IMO, they should keep 1/4 of their best photogs and train them in video production if that's what they need now. People are not expendable to business and when managements starts to employees that way, it may be time to find someone else to work for anyhow. My sympathy to the good folks who lost their jobs.

2 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (11 months ago)

Ohh..I thought all newspapers went out of business a while back.

0 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (11 months ago)

It's funny that they are the only newspaper that isn't picking up this story. Good work all around Sun Times.

0 upvotes
mike earussi
By mike earussi (11 months ago)

The real dead weight is the management. The paper would be much better off firing the management and keeping the photographers, who actually produce something useful.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (11 months ago)

Nothing to fear! The photogs who got the boot can all become prosperous, glamorous free-lancers, just like thousands of wannabes who also imagine they are about to be prosperous and glamorous.

Therein, folks, lies the formula: with so many stooges hoping to make a debut, or work for nothing, why shouldn't employers adopt a payment method akin to sharecropping or landscaping?

Public sanitation offers more stability and benefits.

4 upvotes
RudivanS
By RudivanS (11 months ago)

Cheap, newbie, wannabes shooting themselves in the foot
- or should I say BACK.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (11 months ago)

jkoch2 I don't know if you can read or actually read the article but more than one of the photographers has won a PULLITZER, When is the las time you won one? OH! You have not? Well isn't this ironic? An idiot nobody is calling PROFESSIONALS who are BETTER than him "noobs". You have got a LOT to learn son I think you might be better off NOT pretending to be a photographer.

0 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (11 months ago)

Look, newspapers are in God's waiting room, so this just speeds up the inevitable. This is like selling off the furniture before the bank takes your house.

4 upvotes
Susan Taylor
By Susan Taylor (11 months ago)

Sad but a sign of the times from a business perspective plus print journalism sadly is going the way of the dinosaur. I used to be in print journalism myself but right after I left about 28 years ago to be a stay at home mom (a job I loved by the way) the business went to computer editing. I was a little jealous it happened after I left frankly. But I also think a lot of this has to do with less money spent on employees' benefits such as healthcare. Sad really because it's just the tip of an big iceberg.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (11 months ago)

Seems like all photos come from AP anymore anyway.

1 upvote
rallyfan
By rallyfan (11 months ago)

Have fun selling shots at $50 each, boys.

1 upvote
mike earussi
By mike earussi (11 months ago)

You think they'll get that much?

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (11 months ago)

Plenty of people submit photos for the mere chance of winning a small prize. Lottery tickets probably yield a better return on effort. Beer works even better: a sure buzz for a buck.

5 upvotes
Diopter
By Diopter (11 months ago)

Real cost of increasing market domination by the stock photography giants had been estimated 10-15 years ago.
Independent photo agencies such as Magnum or VII are also on last legs.
https://www.facebook.com/antarve/posts/3067215415413
(-)

1 upvote
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (11 months ago)

How much of current news relies on stock photography? Do you want to see archival photos or what someone shot at the scene of the news?

5 upvotes
Diopter
By Diopter (11 months ago)

"archival photos" and their accessibility are base of image-selling business.
Image tagging, keywording and captioning is becoming a high demand skill.
As far a the news photography: obviously a new kind of agencies must emerge.
They will buy all rights for the image for pennies from anybody and instantly offer to the publishers.
But also they would control, which images make news and which do not.
(-)

0 upvotes
Tapper123
By Tapper123 (11 months ago)

Sad for the photo staff, but from a business POV it does make sense.

1 upvote
moizes 2
By moizes 2 (11 months ago)

What sense? To push off the pros?

0 upvotes
mike earussi
By mike earussi (11 months ago)

To push off photo pros, but it's not something that will ever be applied to them, where one executive may make as much as the entire photo department.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Tapper123:

It only makes business sense if the replacement is of equal or better quality and easier to manage.

When the Sun-Times makes the mistake of using some freelancer's work and then doesn't bother to pay that freelancer, or does something that the freelancer asked in writing not be done, then the Sun-Times is going to find new expenses its rarely seen.

0 upvotes
Rexgig0
By Rexgig0 (11 months ago)

I almost never click on the annoying videos on news web sites. A still image, captured by a skilled, talented photojournalist, can get my attention, even if the story is uninteresting. Moreover, I am in an occupation that involves newsworthy events, and I will talk to a respectful PJ with a still camera, whereas I generally ignore video cameras, and do not provide them with sound bites.

0 upvotes
Dale Reeck
By Dale Reeck (11 months ago)

People prefer more video content? Not me. Nothing irritates me more than when I go to a news website and click on a story and a video starts auto-playing.

32 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (11 months ago)

and it auto plays to a commercial.

23 upvotes
Just another Canon shooter
By Just another Canon shooter (11 months ago)

Right. I guess laying off the photographers was unenviable but they did not need to twist the truth about the reasons for doing that. Wait, they are journalists.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (11 months ago)

Dale Reeck:

Use Firefox and Flashblock.

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

I'm sure the photos will be great and the newspaper will postpone its demise for a few years. But here's something else you "unfortunate but necessary" folks might want to give a thought:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/opinion/sunday/douthat-a-world-without-work.html

Of course this is much bigger than a bunch of unemployed photographers but you get the point, hopefully.

0 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (11 months ago)

Douthat's objection to unemployment is not that is causes hardships, or reflects iniquities, but because people on the dole become customary slugs who don't go to church. He assumes that jobless people get addicted to lying in the couch at Mom's house. His complaint is not that the unemployed are unused but that they become sinful. They are drop-outs, rather than misfortunates who need a new chance.

However, one might say that "photography" is a form of disguised unemployment.

1 upvote
BuckarooBanzai
By BuckarooBanzai (11 months ago)

One of the main reasons for the cut is that the paper will no longer have to pay medical benefits to those 28 people. I would wager that many will still "work" for the paper in a freelance capacity where they are responsible for their own benefits and at a lower rate. Not like those photographers couldn't shoot the requested video or other content. Strictly $$$ and bottom line.
Edit: Sorry AZBlue, didn't see you said the same thing. You nailed it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (11 months ago)

This is the beginning of the end for print. Print as we know it will be dead in 3 years and cell phone photography will be the new standard.

9 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (11 months ago)

REALLY?! What fantasy world do you live in? You are WAY OFF. Have you ever worked in print? I have, it is alive and well my friend. And cellphone photography is the standard for people who know NOTHING about photography & will remain that way for 20 years to come.

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (11 months ago)

Keep dreaming! I have worked in print on two magazines. 3 years 50% will be out, 6 years another 50% of the remaining. cheap digital will take over in about 4 to 5 years. it's sad, but it's very true.

3 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (11 months ago)

You have to admit, though, reproduction on newsprint is one of the cruelest and most demeaning insults you can foist on images shot with $5000 worth of photo gear. You might as well use a camera phone after all.

The situation should be the opposite: On-screen display of photographs is so much more satisfying than how a photo looks in a newspaper, that these newspapers should be upping their standards and taking on more photographers who know their image-making craft. That they are doing the opposite, is baffling.

0 upvotes
AZBlue
By AZBlue (11 months ago)

While it sucks for those who have been laid off, I don't understand why this is a bad thing. News consumers want immediacy, they don't want art or composition or high level of detail. Leave the art and composition to National Geographic. For news, immediacy is king and in that vein, so are smart phone photos and videos.

Technology moves on and sometimes it renders certain jobs less secure. I'm sure that moving to freelancers has cut costs tremendously for Sun Times. Why would you keep 28 people on staff, paying salaries and benefits, when you can dramatically cut costs by only paying for the photos and videos that you really need?

11 upvotes
DFPanno
By DFPanno (11 months ago)

Brutal truths but truths nontheless.

6 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (11 months ago)

What a lovely way of saying technology renders certain jobs less secure. I'd put it this way; lots of people get fired and far, far fewer jobs are created than were lost.

1 upvote
oselimg
By oselimg (11 months ago)

@AZblue...Laying off staff of course cuts costs and outsourcing may bring more competition and options to the business. But how did you conclude that the photographers were laid off because they cared only about art and composition? Are art and composition bad things for photography? A lot of photographers can see the art and the essential message instantly and get both. What you write here clearly shows your subconscious jealousy of talented/gifted photographers in my opinion. You sound almost happy that as if some art oriented, apathetic photographers have finally been eliminated.

4 upvotes
Rude Rudy
By Rude Rudy (11 months ago)

Yeah immediacy works so well that most stories are wrong and then the news agencies need to walk back the story.

Remember CNN stating that a dark skinned man blew up Boston?

What happened to check your sources and make sure the story is correct first.

Iphones and citizen journalism has its place but not as a main source of news.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

Rude Rudy:

That's now rumors get started, you know the one where Boston was blown up. It aint just CNN.

0 upvotes
Prairie Pal
By Prairie Pal (11 months ago)

I wonder what the pay scale will look like. After a freelancer uploads video or stills would he/she have still reserve the right to reject the offer? This is a bold and exciting move, in as much that it will shake up the content and draw the camera deeper into the fabric of the local community's society. Will the photographic quality improve? Probably not. Will the ability of a single photograph to convey an emotion increase? Probably not. But it will be different and ALL things deserve a change from time to time. There will be both good and unsettling reverberations, but aside from a large part of the photojounalist trade fading away it will be exciting to watch and participate in.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (11 months ago)

When you freelance as a stringer you know what you are gonna get paid before you do the assignment. It's an average of like 60 dollars for a photo. It's a terrible gig. But doing photography for newspapers has been a dead end for years. There are no more new staff jobs and freelance costs more to do than it pays. I quit doing journalism and started doing portraits years ago for this reason

5 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (11 months ago)

Maybe Marissa Mayer knows something we don't. Or we tried to deny :-(

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (11 months ago)

Newspapers are suffering in this electronic culture. With multiple sources for free local news on the Web, it will be interesting to see how they cope in the coming years. The photographers are just one unhappy consequence.

0 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (11 months ago)

Well I guess it's true, all you need is the iPhone with Instagram to be a pro, why are company's still making cameras?

1 upvote
John_A_G
By John_A_G (11 months ago)

Inevitable. Unfortunate for the 28 people who just lost a job but inevitable. Today it's all about RIGHT NOW. People want to see a video of what is going on RIGHT NOW. Quality photography is no longer as important to the consumer. Unfortunate for people in the industry but you can't "blame" the consumer for changing their requirements. The world evolves and requirements change.

2 upvotes
mervis50
By mervis50 (11 months ago)

If people could just resist sending in free content to media websites, but that's never gonna happen.

2 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (11 months ago)

I have offered photos but it was when I was the ONLY person to see it happen, for example the irony of an Emergency Rescue Helicopter performing an EMERGENCY landing. The media companies said "great send them to us this will be a good story" and my question was "how much do you want to pay for them?" they instantly went "we don't need them so no thanks"

1 upvote
DigiMatt
By DigiMatt (11 months ago)

Anepo, this is where you really messed up. The moment they said "no" to paying you, you should have just walked away. This was no earth shattering event and the lack of a photo doesn't change anything and would teach them a lesson, or at least give the editor some evidence that he needs to pay for content. By just giving away your work, you rewarded and encouraged their bad behavior.

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