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.
When the Chicago Sun-Times unexpectedly laid off its entire team of photojournalists last week, Al Podgorski was one of the photographers hearing the bad news at the meeting. Having worked for the paper since 1984, Podgorski’s image-making instincts kicked in, and he shot the photograph above showing his colleagues learning that they were being laid off.
The photographer in the center of the frame is John H. White, the renowned photojournalist who joined the Sun-Times in 1978 and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982.
(I’m not saying this is how the conversation went down at the Chicago Sun-Times last week, but I’m saying it could have.)
Good morning, everyone.
Is the entire photography staff here? …26, 27, 28…yes, it looks like everyone is present and accounted for, so let’s begin.
We don’t need you.
Hey, recently fired Chicago Sun-Times photographers — want some insult to go with that injury?
Too bad, because newspaper management revealed today the paper’s strategy for replacing the work of the 20 shooters about to hit the pavement: Reporters will squeeze off a few shots with their smartphone to accompany stories.
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.
When Sony unveiled its “One Sony” game plan back in March after posting billions in losses, the company highlighted digital photography as one of its three main pillars going forward. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when Sony announced today that it will soon be closing a large lens manufacturing factory in Japan as part of the restructuring efforts.
Kodak divisions are falling left and right as the company struggles to claw its way out of bankruptcy protection. After killing off its camera business and selling off its film business earlier this year, Kodak announced today that it will shortly be pulling out of the consumer printing business in order to focus on commercial printing.
Before Instagram, there was Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic was one of the pioneers and heavyweights in the retro filter photo app space, but when Instagram came along, the price advantage (free vs. $2), ease of use, filter selection, and built-in social network allowed Instagram to turn into the new 800 lb. gorilla of mobile photo sharing.
The story is strangely similar to the history of Myspace and Facebook, and yesterday the narrative became even more identical. On the same day that Instagram rolled out version 3.0 to its 80+ million members, Hipstamatic laid off all but 5 of its core staff.
CNN created quite a stir yesterday after laying off a dozen photojournalists due to the rise of citizen journalism and the availability of cameras. Here’s a humorous response to the story by Stephen Colbert, who gives us a glimpse into the “uncompensated future of news”.
Thanks for the tip, Eduardo!
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