The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. Twenty full-time staffers received the grave news at a meeting on Thursday morning, leaving them jobless.
Moving forward, the newspaper will be strictly working with freelance photographers, a move that is expected to further cut down on costs in this already financially troubled industry.
The lay-off decision reflects the importance of video in today’s digital news reporting, according to a Sun-Times statement:
“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.”
More and more print publications are dumping full-time staff photographers in favor of freelance photojournalism. While also more cost-effective, they are able to get photos from virtually anywhere without having to dispatch a staff photographer. Given the climate of news publishing (and its digital transition), this sadly appears to be a trending course of action for news publishers.
Thanks for sending in the tip, Brian.