Chicago Sun-Times photographers, who lost their jobs in a mass layoff last week, are not going quietly into oblivion. Most of the 30 lensfolk who got canned, plus dozens of supporters, picketed outside the newspaper building on Thursday. And leaders of the union that represents most of the photogs say there’s more to come.
“We were totally stunned by this, and we’re out here trying to get the community behind us, and so far we’ve had a lot of success.” said Craig Rosenbaum, executive director of the Chicago Newspaper Guild.
Sun Times executives have said the layoffs are part of a general switch from print to online content, a transition that includes turning editorial employees into general-purpose content harvesters armed with iPhones and can-do attitudes. The newspaper’s front page Thursday offered a taste of the fruits of the new strategy, with the lead story written, photographed and videoed by the same newly designated “multimedia reporter.”
Favorite sign at the protest: “Damn It, Jim! I’m a Reporter, Not a Photographer!”
Also in the magical world of Sun Times management: Nobody got fired! A subscriber who canceled his subscription based on the layoffs received an acknowledgement that included this gem of double-speak: “Your comments regarding the photographers contracts being changed to freelance from salaried was noted on your account and passed to the management.”
(via NBC Chicago)
Image credits: Video and still frames by NBC Chicago