The Colbert Report’s Take on the Chicago Sun-Times’ Photojournalist Layoffs

In a short segment titled “Photojournalists vs. iPhones” on The Colbert Report yesterday, Stephen Colbert weighed in on the Chicago Sun-Times’ decision to lay off its entire photography department. Colbert pulls no punches:

But the paper will continue to have great photojournalism, because reporters are now required to learn iPhone photography basics. But only the basics, like pressing the button. If the Sun-Times is still around in a week, the reporters can move on to the advanced stuff, like using a flash, and asking flood victims to say cheese.

Canadian version here. For a non-tongue-in-cheek view, check out the photographer responses that we published earlier this week.

(via Colbert Nation via Fstoppers)

  • A_Lwin

    Spot on!

  • kshitij

    Abso- effing- lutely spot on. Colbert’s wit is so sharp! its not like a scalpel, dissecting bit by bit, its katana-like, cutting right through a man’s torso. he’s singlehandedly ripped through chicago sun-times’s pile of BS.

  • Bill Burkholder

    10:1 they’ll invite those photographers back as hybrid media specialists on contract at 2/3 the pay and no benefits, and require them to write, shoot video, and record audio, in addition to shooting pictures. It’s the global corporate way! But it’s too late, they just blew their integrity to kingdom come.

    Employee churn is “necessary to maintain business continuity.” Translation: No one wants the product you used to make, the company is bleeding red ink, and the paradigm shift to a new product or technology is underway. Your current company’s management has analysis paralysis and cannot cope intelligently with the situation due to personally vested interests. See also: Kodak, Polaroid, Newsweek, RIM, Nokia… and dozens of others.

    Remember the Linotype operators?

    Considering a career in journalism or communications? Seriously? Then become a hybrid communicator and learn writing, videography, audio recording, photography, editing (text, video, audio, and photos), web development, and project management. Fewer and fewer mono-dimensional communicators (writers, photographers…) are welcome in the new media world.

  • Renato Murakami

    Rather than the end of photojournalism, this seems to be the final erosion of print media… or at least the last days of Chicago Sun-Times.
    Cutting photojournalists and pushing the work for already more than overworked journalists will have an overall impact on quality and uniqueness of news pieces and material – not only of photos (which will quite obviously be worse), but also for all the rest those journalists should be dedicated to.
    I can only imagine them fumbling about trying to decide whether to make some research, ask questions, think further about the theme, or trying to take pics and videos with iPhones. And then there will be all the problems related to photography itself that happens quite often to amateur photographers to be solved by them… you’ll inevitably end up with editions filled with crap photos, or at most very bland ones that ads nothing to the piece itself.
    I only hope all those photojournalists who were laid off find work elsewhere, probably outside newspapers, where their work can be recognized as essencial to newsmaking today. It’s sad that we’re still in this transitional period, but I’m shure that sometime from now photojournalism will still stand as a highly valuable job in some format, because thinking outside technique and gear, the reasoning and essence of it will always be valued in an age of information.
    Photojournalism has nothing to do with taking pics with iPhones, or taking pics with whatever. It’s the contruction behind photos, and the reasoning behind the images that counts. Punctum, Studium.