Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Entire Photo Staff, Will Give Reporters iPhoneography Training
The Chicago Sun-Times, one of the remnants of traditional paper journalism, has let go its entire photography staff of 28 people. Now its reporters will start receiving “iPhone photography basics” training to start producing their own photos and videos.
The move is part of a growing trend towards publications using the iPhone as a replacement for fancy, expensive DSLRs. It’s a also a sign of how traditional journalism is being changed by technology like the iPhone and the advent of digital publishing.
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, reporters for Time used the iPhone to take photos on the field and upload to the publication’s Instagram account. Even the cover photo used on the corresponding issue of Time was taken on an iPhone.
Sun-Times photographer Alex Garcia argues that the “idea that freelancers and reporters could replace a photo staff with iPhones is idiotic at worst, and hopelessly uninformed at best.” Garcia believes that reporters are incapable of writing articles and also producing quality media, but she’s fighting an uphill battle.
Big newspaper companies aren’t making anywhere near the amount of money they used to due to the popularity of online publications and blogs. Free news is a click away nowadays. Getting rid of professional photographers and equipping reporters with iPhones is another way to cut costs.
The iPhone has a better camera than most digital point-and-shoots, and more importantly, it is in everyone’s pocket. It’s a great camera that’s always with you, and that makes it an invaluable tool for any journalist. There will always be a need for videographers and pro photographers that can make studio-level work, but the iPhone is proving to be an invaluable tool for reporters in the modern world. ”
Read more from Alex Heath at Cult Of Mac, here.
Chicago Sun-Times photographer protests layoffs with iPhone photos
” After the Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photography staff last week, including Pulitzer Prize winner John H. White, the paper announced that reporters would be trained to take iPhone photos to replace the photographers’ work. One former staffer is fighting back.
Chicago media critic Robert Feder posted to Facebook:
Sun-Times reporters begin mandatory training today on ‘iPhone photography basics’ following elimination of the paper’s entire photography staff. “In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need,” managing editor Craig Newman tells staffers in a memo.
Former staffer Rob Hart has been documenting his life after the Sun-Times with iPhone photos posted to his Tumblr. The site reads, “Rob Hart was replaced with a reporter with an iPhone, so he is documenting his new life with an iPhone, but with the eye of a photojournalist trained in storytelling.”
“I thought it was a great way to both mock my situation and celebrate it,” Hart said in an interview with Erin Lodi.
The images are mainly in black and white, giving glimpses into sad or funny moments as he works, eats, and spends time with his daughter. The photos chronicle his life working from home in the wake of the layoffs: day four he posted “new home office set up behind dryer”; day five, “Interview on NPR. Using toilet paper as a mic stand.”
Read more from Kirsten Reach on Melville House here, or check out an insight from Wired about the professional photography ‘take over’ by iPhones.
Read more about the evolution of photography and explore Google Glass, here.