CNN Lays Off Photojournalists, Citing the Accessibility of Quality Cameras

Roughly 50 staffers at CNN were given pink slips today, including nearly a dozen photojournalists. In an email to the staff, Senior VP Jack Womack cited the accessibility of cameras and the growth of citizen journalism as reasons for the terminations:

We also spent a great deal of time analyzing how we utilize and deploy photojournalists across all of our locations in the U.S. […] We looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media, CNN iReporters and of course our affiliate contributions in breaking news. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.

CNN’s citizen journalism initiative, iReport, has proved extremely valuable as a source of imagery during things like disasters and protests. However, it has also received criticism for not paying for submitted photos — even those that are subsequently broadcast worldwide.

(via The Hollywood Reporter via FilmmakerIQ)

Image credit: CNN by Ayushπ

  • mouse potato

    So the underlying value of the photo journalist has always been something other than a profession. If you want to cut,  start with the dual action anchor format. Last evening I was standing outside WABC studios and btw each brake make up and hair stylist would rush in. I guess the draft from the lighting mussed their hair. Cut the dual anchor,  you say three words, I say three. 

  • Gentry Barrientios

    CNN ALWAYS stood for the Cheap News Network. But this is really too much. What, they’ll take anonymous vid off someone’s iPhone for free.  I’ve seen that stuff. It’s awful. Guess that shows everyone what CNN thinks of its viewers.

  • Gentry Barrientios

    No..get ride of the consultants who told management that the ratings needed dual action anchors….

  • Gentry Barrientios

    It’s not that they are too lazy to look for real journalism it’s that they don’t care about real journalism and wouldn’t recognize it if it came up and hit ‘em in the head….

  • Mark Kaplan

    Where’s the NPPA on this? Their refusal to acknowledge “citizen journalism” as anything other than a job stealer is one of the reasons why actions such as this are increasing.

    If “citizen journalism” is going to be the wave of the future, and every indication is that it will be; NPPA should be leading the charge towards making it responsible journalism. 

    Photojournalists may not be able to stop the erosion of jobs, but they can at least help the public understand a) why they shouldn’t provide images and stories without compensation, and b) why ethics are a must for every journalist, whether professional or “citizen”.

  • Vdaza

    There is NOTHING better than doing photography. NOTHING. 

  • kmk

    well I can tell you this, reservoirdan – you missed excellent photos by the Oregonian’s Beth Nakamura, a professional who probably does use a 5D

  • VAP Photography

    My only hope is that you’re right in that are out there so many people thinking and using their brains. Unfortunately, many people is not listening to what they are saying. 

    So, what is your position: NWO or something like Venus Project?

  • Jwise11

    excellent images

  • Infaux

    The Horror… professional photographer’s career snapped up by
     a zombie! Last year an “urgent” request for one of my “red carpet’ TIFF photos of a horror producer subject was abruptly cancelled when they realized payment was involved.  I was then told that instead they’d ask one of his “zombie” entourage, who’d brought a camera to the event. This year I missed TIFF entirely as I was replaced by an intern with an IPhone. What happens to interns when their parents stop paying their bills? There’s always another fresh intern, or zombie if you will, waiting in the wings! Working for free undermines everyone’s careers.

  • Altaf Zargar
  • Altaf zargar

    i think small camara is good for nothing as im a news photographer so i thing big camaras is need for the photojournalist 

  • Kill

    there should be a law that will protect photojournalists and other mediamen… :(

  • Azargar

    i have seen many photojournalist working with many news photo agencys they are working vere hard for his agency but thay not geeting proper Respond form his org



  • Anonymous

    One of the industries caught in the technology changing  world, I sure hope they had a plan B.

  • guest

    Is this Tim McQuire?

  • John Kantor

    My other comment repeated: The two worst run businesses on the planet are the Airlines Industry and online News Media. They have no clue.

  • the great kazoo

    What does CNN need journalists for anyway? Hyperbole is their thing.