Thursday, May 30, 2013

Picture this: a newspaper without photographers

Is this the end of photojournalism?
Well, it's happening in Chicago.

The Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire photo staff, including photo editors, from the tabloid newspaper and its affiliated suburban papers.

It's only 28 jobs, but it's a trend that could be replicated all across the country.

Yes, newspapers did just fine for their first hundred years or so without any photos, but that was before photography was invented.

The Sun-Times said it was moving to what readers wanted: more video content.

I wasn't aware that you could get video content in the Sun-Times' tabloid paper. That's amazing.

Seriously, though, there's a website for that. It's called YouTube.

The Sun-Times will rely on free-lancers for its photo needs.

Free-lancing may become the norm for reporters and editors as well.

In fact, all companies could make more money for shareholders if they didn't have any full-time employees, but rather "independent contractors."

It's a way to bring jobs back to America from places like Bangladesh, where workers get by on $17 a month when they're not getting crushed to death in poorly constructed factories.

Thank god we still have Costco, which made a handsome profit, a 19 percent gain in the last quarter, in spite of paying its workers better than all its competitors. Naturally, Wall Streeters hate Costco precisely because it pays its workers so well.

Meanwhile, it's been reported that the suicide rate among male Baby Boomers is, well, booming, thanks in large part to a lack of employment opportunities.

Well, we all can't work at Costco.

And, lifelong photographers, even Pulitzer prize winners, can no longer work at the Chicago Sun-Times.


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