Dec 12, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times Eliminates Photo Staff
Posted on May 31, 2013
Up to 30 photographers and editorial support staff for the Chicago Sun-Times and its suburban sister newspapers—virtually the entire photo department—were laid off Thursday morning.
Those who lost their jobs included the Chicago photojournalism icon and Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White. The management intends to replace the team with freelance shooters.
The National Press Photographers Association cites a reporter who claims that Sun-Times editor Jim Kirk told reporters a week before the announcement that they would soon have to cover stories with their iPhones.
In a statement released Thursday, the company said it fired the photographers in order to meet the demands of its audiences, who it says “are consistently seeking more video content with their news.”
“We have made great progress in meeting this demand,” the release said in a tone that is deaf to the power and importance of still-photo journalism. It said the company is “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.”
Poetically, the layoffs came just a few days after the death of the Sun-Times’ former chief photographer, Bob Kotalik. He was 87 years old. His obituary appeared in the paper the day before the announcement.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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