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Author Topic: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video  (Read 9546 times)

distant.star

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Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« on: May 30, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »
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Claiming readers are clamoring for more video news coverage, the Chicago Sun-Times has dumped its entire photography staff.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-sun-times-photo-20130530,0,4361142.story

Seems a bit drastic, and probably related to short-term budget thinking, but it's what I'm expecting to see long-term. Still photos are going to struggle to maintain relevancy.

They're going to use stringers/freelancers for some still photography in the print edition, I guess.
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Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« on: May 30, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 10:46:05 PM »
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Claiming readers are clamoring for more video news coverage, the Chicago Sun-Times has dumped its entire photography staff.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-sun-times-photo-20130530,0,4361142.story

Seems a bit drastic, and probably related to short-term budget thinking, but it's what I'm expecting to see long-term. Still photos are going to struggle to maintain relevancy.

They're going to use stringers/freelancers for some still photography in the print edition, I guess.


Wow, that is a bit much and that is a major paper too, wow. Seems a bit nuts. man.

dexstrose

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Re: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 11:30:44 PM »
I know, its really sad.

At one newspaper I use to work at, they made some writers take pictures and videos of council meetings. Oh you should see what camera they use (p&s), the pictures usually are low resolution and terrible to work with. Lucky newsprint sucks the detail by printing at around 150 dpi and making pictures look flat.

Next to that, if the newspaper has a subscription to AP or Reuters, they can get all their photos there. Especially since AP has offices nation wide to shoot local happenings or events.

 

Normalnorm

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Re: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 12:38:31 AM »
Our local paper still has a few still photographers but ALL the writers are expected to take stills AND video when out on assignment.

They do the still with P&S cameras and really give new meaning to "f8 and be there". The res is fine and the exposure is generally good. The composition may want but the readers never notice.

As for video I doubt that many really go online to watch some wretched groundbreaking or a comment from a dogcatcher.

preppyak

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Re: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 04:19:59 AM »
Seems a bit drastic, and probably related to short-term budget thinking, but it's what I'm expecting to see long-term. Still photos are going to struggle to maintain relevancy
Especially in the news world, where, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand more.

Heck, just think of the Boston bombing, there were tons of cell phone and security camera footage, and all posted very quickly online. While they might not capture it the way a professional does, they still tell the story well enough. Especially when keeping 20 photographers on staff probably costs you north of a million dollars, in an environment where pictures aren't the main focus


Click

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
Alex Garcia has described the move as being “idiotic at worst, and hopelessly uninformed at best”


I think that says it all.

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »

RGF

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 10:30:36 AM »
Typical business short sight decision.  Save a few $ now, pay later. 
But you got to enjoy the humor

J.R.

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 10:44:30 AM »
Gotta feel bad for the guys involved :'(. To see what's been cut, go here -

http://j.mp/sun-times-photos
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jdramirez

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 11:20:23 AM »
 newspapers have big problems.  I understand keeping the reporters & getting rid of the photographers. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Chuck Alaimo

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 12:48:49 PM »
newspapers have big problems.  I understand keeping the reporters & getting rid of the photographers.

It's funny, here in buffalo our newspaper is doing just fine, but that's because they are using their presses to print a ton of stuff for other businesses.  Sounds to me more like an old business that's not changing with the times...
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mdmphoto

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 03:02:00 PM »
Sad, though all but inevitable.  The preponderance of camera-phones, in conjunction with wi-fi, "guys with cameras", lo-fi print media resolution, s-rgb web requirements, the expense of a "good" camera and accessories, paying a professional staff photographer, and an artificially crunched economy- along with EVERYONE'S desire for something for a lot less, or even nothing, have all converged to this move by a cynical and desperate corporate entity.  Why bother with hi-res "quality" imagery, and pay the price for it, when a quick cellie snapshot will amply illustrate the story printed in the daily paper?  Early on, I did think that maybe I'd make eating  money from my avocation, but I learned quickly that the closed and unwelcoming ever-shrinking fraternity of news photogs was not the way for a guy like me with a full-time job and family responsibilities. I continue on because of my love for the (ultimately) printed image.  On those relatively few occasions that  someone's appreciation of my work has included purchasing a print I have been pleased but ever- cognizant of the "gravy" nature of the event.  I have been associated, though, with a group of professional photographers in Chicago who seemingly all have been Pulitzer- or other award-winning photographers for all the newspapers in Chicagoland over the last 50 years; including the sun-times. I do grieve this milestone for them, their loss in vocational fulfillment, and as, for popular culture, the past is somehow diminished, perceptually, and discarded in favor of the expedient present, and what was once vital is now considered quaint historical oddity.  I was at the Rolling Stones concert last night and there was a (certainly understandably and wise-enough) ban on "professional" cameras, but everyone's -including mine's, cell phones' batteries were dead by the end of the show. Such an event as that translates well using a cell phone to the extent that hi-res "quality" offers little to any profit potential; the benefit is all journalistic documentary; which is also the allure of such photography. Such is "progress" in the modern world as we all adapt or die.  I shoot on for love and documentation, hopefully communication, but, -gad...
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dstppy

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 03:07:48 PM »
Where's the problem?

Good, on-the-scene photography is wasted on media like this.  Anyone who is good at this sort of thing will end up making more doing freelance; if other media outlets follow, it'll end up driving the price of high quality shots up.

Would it have been better to hear that they'd told reporters to use their existing camera phones and hired expert quality photoshoppers?  Seems to work for certain countries with nationalized media :D
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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 03:07:48 PM »

distant.star

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Re: Newspaper Dumps Photographers, Wants Video
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2013, 03:12:10 PM »
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Latest turn is they say they're going to train reporters (all editorial staff) in "iphoneography."

This may be an appropriate business decision, but for sure they're not going to win any Pulitzers!

The times they are a changin'.
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Pi

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2013, 03:18:48 PM »
They should fire the journalists and teach the photographers how to report from their smartphones.

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Re: Noooooooo....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2013, 03:18:48 PM »