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Bad News for Sun-Times Photographers

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It's a trend. How long ago, ten or fifteen years, maybe more, I remember the Financial Times cutting its staff to two. Archant, a newspaper group in the UK, sacked all its regional newspaper staffers and in the statement put out said they intended to use more pictures from readers, phone messages and the web.

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Very sad, I mean what the paper did, which makes no sense,

not about Live News.

I agree, and didn't mean to make light of it. My neighbor, Howard Simmons is an ex Sun-Times photographer and is friends with John White.

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In a world where businesses know the cost of everything and the value of nothing why should this move in the USA come as a shock ?


In the UK the two major picture tabloids did exactly this just a few years ago - the Mirror shed its staff men completely and The Sun went from 28 staffers to just two. Provincial groups did the same thing but with even more dire effects - the moves dispensed with staff men but also destroyed the bread and butter work of many local freelances.


Readers were, and are encouraged to supply images mostly for absolutely nothing with the copyright being assigned to the newspapers and television groups where they were passed on to other titles in the same group, and even exploited by 'syndication'.


However, before there are too many crocodile tears from us (now) stock men we should take the blame as well - staffers did not just cover the hard news - they produced the features stock images which the men in shiny shoes now find that they can acquire for just a few dollars from stock libraries/agencies still hell-bent on cutting each other's throats by an ever downward pricing spiral.


It is no good smashing the weaving looms - things change - not always for the better. A few years ago if Joe Public had a camera - it was probably in a drawer at home with some old half-used film installed - he did not have it in his pocket 24/7 - then moving images around was a long convoluted process  - now it is a couple of clicks on a mobile phone. 


Is it better ? Not sure about that, it is certainly a more 'immediate' trade........one thing that is for sure - it is the way that the world is - no amount of nostalgic memories from an old fool like myself will reverse the changes - as some-one else frequently says - "Just getting on with it....."

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DavidC said:


"It is no good smashing the weaving looms - things change - not always for the better. "


Totally agree David. I've held this position on the old forum for the past two years. A few on that forum seemed to think that they can hold back the tide and i was lambasted whenever i voiced that view. It isn't going to happen. A luddite mentality will not work. Thankfully most of those contributors have ceased posting on the new forum.


As you suggest, the world is what it is, human nature is what it is. Technology is facilitating a paradigm shift in the way the image business works. We either adapt to new models or we lose interest and leave it to people who can adapt.


There are markets out here for excellence in imaging.


I just wish I could find my niche, unfortunately not found yet.



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Lets hope Alamy read this bit.



The newspaper released a statement suggesting the move reflected the increasing importance of video in news reporting:

"The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and 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.

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