'Chicago Sun-Times' Fires Its Photographers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

'Chicago Sun-Times' Fires Its Photographers

The shrinking of the staffs in the nation's newsrooms continues.

The Chicago Tribune broke the news Thursday that its Second City rival The Chicago Sun-Times has "laid off its entire photography staff."

Crain's Chicago Business says that "the number of full-time workers affected is about 20, but including part-time and freelance employees, it could be closer to 30."

In a statement sent to the Tribune and other news outlets, the Sun-Time's management says:

"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."

As Forbes contributor Micheline Maynard notes, it appears the Sun-Times "plans to get by with freelance photographers, and rely on reporters to snap photographs with smart phones."

Crain's adds that "the Chicago Newspaper Guild, the union that represents the photographers, immediately said it would consider taking action against the company over the cuts. It's currently in negotiations on a new contract for the reporters, photographers and other workers it represents. Before the cuts, it had about 150 members at the company."

As veterans of the newspaper business (such as this blogger) can attest, this is just the latest in a series of job descriptions that are fading away or being combined with other duties. Composing room jobs are gone. Copy desks have been shrunk. Even small newspapers used to have librarians. Today? Few do.

Photo staffs have been shrunk dramatically elsewhere as well, including at USA Today and The Washington Times.

Just for the record, NPR does have a small staff of photo/video journalists, including award winners David Gilkey and Claire O'Neill:

-- Photo Focused: NPR Interactive Documentary Wins Top Multimedia Honors

-- Photojournalist ProFile: 'You Have To Be In The Middle Of It'

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Women and minorities continue to be under-represented on TV and in film, both behind and in front of the camera, according to a new study — even though diverse films and shows make more money.
NPR

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through Adopt A Cow

The cheeses of the Italian Alps are prized for their flavor. But the tradition of cheese-making here is dying off. Now remaining farmers are banding together around an unusual adoption program.
NPR

Is The Battle Won And Done For Those Who Fought For Net Neutrality?

In a 3-2 vote on Feb. 26, the FCC approved new rules, regulating broadband internet as a public utility. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Mat Honan, San Francisco bureau chief for BuzzFeed News, about the political implications of the vote.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.