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Author Topic: Sun-Times lays off all photographers  (Read 11444 times)
Chris_Brown
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« on: May 30, 2013, 11:04:02 PM »
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The statement noted that the "business is changing rapidly" and audiences are "seeking more video content with their news."

Read more here.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2013, 05:42:52 AM »
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I read that yesterday and thought so who will shoot and edit the video?  Do they have a staff of videographers and editors?  Or can just any warm body shoot and edit video?  Maybe they plan to have their middle school kids come in and show them how.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2013, 08:57:47 AM »
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. . . and thought so who will shoot and edit the video?

A well-paid editor, I guess.
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Pete_G
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2013, 10:35:10 AM »
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I don't think there are any well paid editors anymore..
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MarkM
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 07:19:39 PM »
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I really don't get it. Maybe I'm just not their target audience, but I don't want video with my news. It takes too long and is rarely as interesting as a good photo. I suspect this is being led by their ad department who likes the idea of selling video ads rather than banners.

A bit more about the nature of stills vs. video and why video is rarely, if ever, iconic in the way photos are here: http://bit.ly/18EigVC
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 08:08:56 PM by MarkM » Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 08:08:04 PM »
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... I don't want video with my news....

Me neither.

As a matter of fact, I refuse to click on news links that load video. First, I do not want to be forced to watch a commercial, second, I do not want to watch all the introductory fluff anchors often resort to.
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K.C.
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 08:46:53 PM »
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A more extensive explanation of the situation.

An excerpt.

"In March, the Sun-Times laid off a number of longtime suburban editors and consolidated suburban operations in its downtown Chicago offices. That same month, it was reported that the Sun-Times had fallen behind in its payments on an annual $70 million contract with the Chicago Tribune to print and distribute its newspapers. Sources say the Sun-Times is now current but is looking at alternatives to the 10-year printing deal.

Thursday's cutting of the photo department is part of the effort to get the Sun-Times into the black, sources said."


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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 09:11:04 AM »
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Thanks for the link, KC.

FTA:

Quote
The move to have reporters shoot video and photos while covering stories is a growing trend among television stations and newspapers, according to California-based media analyst Alan Mutter, who said quality may be sacrificed in the process.

"We'll always have a lot of pictures there will always be something between the articles but will we have great photography, the memorable iconic images? Probably less so," Mutter said.

Probably? This is such a bad assumption by the Sun-Times management. From my POV, it's better to give a recorder to a photographer than give a camera to a reporter.

We will never see a reporter work a subject like James Nachtway (whose first lens of choice is a 20mm!).

I also believe the source of the problem is that the Sun-Times has a conservative editorial POV, which doesn't float well in Chicago, a liberal bastion.
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bcooter
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 02:01:10 PM »
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I also believe the source of the problem is that the Sun-Times has a conservative editorial POV, which doesn't float well in Chicago, a liberal bastion.

The problem with the Sun Times (other than it being a tabloid), is like 99.999% of all periodical publishing in the world, they essentially give their content away for free, or close to free, or even if they limited the amount of stories you can read, enough people do, repost them and you get the news and features anyway.

I truly don't understand a business model where you give your content away for free and expect to turn a profit.  Even less, a business model where the content is produced by amateurs, comments from the man on the street and cell phone imagery.

I also don't understand a business model where you cut the talent, the equity out of your product and expect anyone to want to pay for it.

Publishing wants to keep one foot in the creek and one on shore with the expectation of staying dry.   It makes no sense.

If you don't digitize it, or if you digitize and it takes a full subscription to use any of it, then the links die down and your content will become yours and yours alone to actually sell and make a profit.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323830404578141561687144972.html#articleTabs%3Dvideo

Music, traditional TV, publishing have all rushed to enable a world of  for "free" or reduced priced content for the web, thinking that someday somebody might pay them serious money.

That's not a business model for growth.

The advertising world knows that analog dollars once into the digital domain equates to pennies.

I think the only traditional "network" head that understands how to turn a profit today is Les Moonves of CBS.

A long time ago he changed the thought that CBS was an old line network, moved to a content provider and he's dead set on not making a profit from his content.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323830404578141561687144972.html#articleTabs%3Dvideo

(view the two interviews, revenue streams, and not embracing the I-pad)

IMO

BC

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Bob_B
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 11:18:38 AM »
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FWIW: CNN has a nice set of portraits of those photographers laid off by the Sun-Times. It's at:

http://cnnphotos.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/21/we-are-the-chicago-sun-times-photography-department/?hpt=hp_c4

I'm not a professional photographer, but cherish good still photography, so this news is very saddening to me.

Bob
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SecondFocus
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 12:14:44 PM »
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And here is the real world example of what happens when you rely on iPhone photos after firing your photographers...

https://twitter.com/MarkLoundy/status/350523586127224832/photo/1
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Ian L. Sitren
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 01:23:21 PM »
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And here is the real world example of what happens when you rely on iPhone photos after firing your photographers...

https://twitter.com/MarkLoundy/status/350523586127224832/photo/1

ROFL

The tailspin of the Sun-Times has begun.
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 01:53:10 PM »
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Yes, but the trouble is money. When there ain't enough coming in, things have to go out.

That's where Mrs Thatcher was so much brighter than the other politicians: she knew you can't fake it forever, that the crunch always comes and you must try to correct course before the rock rips your keel right off.

I watched a video recently called Inside Job, about the 2008 financial disaster. Apart from the stunningly clean imagery of Iceland with which it opens, the revelations, the interviews, and the fact that nobody appears to have gone to prison in the States or anywhere else, got out with hundreds of millions of dollars a pop, beggars belief and makes the ultra-left seem to have more than a few points worth making. Worse, the new messiah in the White House appoints the very architects of disaster to the head table. Dear God. Maybe I need a new safe. And coins, not paper.

But I also believe there is a certain amount of death wish here. When snappers start to accept less, when they collectively sell their souls for penny stock, then the entire industry - save for some tiny niche-players - falls into decline. Photographers are like every other business: you have to earn more than you spend, and hiding behind the excuse that you enjoy it, alters the economics not a jot. But folks never learn that lesson. They cave, and the flock goes with them.

Rob C
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BJL
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 02:59:22 PM »
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A clearer view of that comparison:
http://suntimesdarktimes.tumblr.com/post/53967466726/front-pages-june-26-2013
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