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Greg Andonian
OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 5:17:28 pm

It's been reported that a Chicago area newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, has fired their entire photography staff in favor of freelancers...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-sun-times-photo...

...and now they're training their reporters to use iPhones to take pictures for the paper.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1589355


I really miss the days when people cared about quality. They seem to be fading fast... :(

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Wilbert Thomas
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 5:32:08 pm

Wow. This really makes me mad. The same thing happened to me about 6 years ago, the entire staff was laid off b/c they decided to ship our jobs overseas where they could save money and the of course the Executive all received a nice pay raised.

Will Thomas
SpaceCherryFilms.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 5:58:29 pm

The Sun Times deserves what it gets: local stories with photographs that look like snapshots.

My aunt takes snapshots. A photographer captures a moment that helps to advance the story and set the feeling of the scene, and a reporter has other things on his/her mind.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Andy Field
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 6:10:07 pm

and sad to say - the economics of local newspapers only point to more cutbacks, which means fewer subscribers to less and weaker content...as the loop circles the entire model down the drain.

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 6:19:59 pm

Okay, let me ask you this: do you read a newspaper -- the real, hold-it-in-your-hand, ink-on-paper thing -- on a daily basis?

If you don't, you're part of the problem.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 6:34:26 pm

...and in case you're wondering, here's the front page of my morning paper:

gazettemonjune3.jpg

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 6:39:21 pm

I think it's the reverse Dave - the problem is that newspapers haven't managed to generate readership. It's not the readers' job to pay for something they don't use - newspapers aren't a charity. The newspapers in my area (NH) who have stayed afloat have realized that they are media outlets, NOT just newspapers anymore, and have tied in with the television stations, radio stations, and web media to make a combined product that will stay afloat. Of course, crappy photography won't exactly keep the reader interested - you can find that on the local TV stations now - even they are trying to keep the viewers' interest by posting their "look how cute junior is" photos during the newscasts.

Growing up in Boston, I used to have access to several dailies - the Globe, The Herald, The Record American, The Boston Post - heck, my hometown - Cambridge, even had The Cambridge Chronicle, and we were a half mile from downtown Boston! There were morning editions for the bosses, and afternoon editions for the working class. I love reading the newspaper - but I no longer see a need to buy it when I an get it online instantly - sometimes from the newspaper website, sometimes from a news aggregator, when I'm not on my desktop machine.

I hope that at least some of the newspapers survive, but radio didn't kill the newspaper, TV didn't kill radio, or movies, and the web hasn't killed magazines, newspapers, or other media...everything just shifts into a different fit.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Kirk Pitts
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 6:52:20 pm

Every Day and twice on Sunday. Tampa trib and St. Pete Times.


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Paul Neumann
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 7:27:59 pm

Fort Worth Star-Telegram everyday of the week and the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday and Sunday. It's why my kids are such great readers/writers at a very early age. We read as a family every morning.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 3, 2013 at 7:48:16 pm

It's heartbreaking, really.

I can't help but notice that The Billy Goat is the perfect place to find the temporary solace.

I do get the convenience and form factor of camera phones, but they aren't a professional device.

It is also ironic that this report is from the Tribune (the other major paper in Chicago) and they have a video story along with the written copy.

They are reporting on the problem using the methods that the Sun Times didn't seem to embrace fast enough and felt like they had to can their entire staff to do so.

Wasn't the DSLR revolution spurned, in part, from Photo Journalists asking for video capability?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 12:56:16 am

Any way you look at shooting with an iPad, it's Dorksville, from the look of the user, to the resulting image quality (or lack thereof):



Just the thought of shooting a "professional" photojournalism shot with a teeny lens and micro-sensor. The spec on the front facing camera comes in at about .9 Megapixel, far under the Sony Mavica, and we all remember the quality of that digital camera.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 2:34:26 pm

I agree that tablet or phone cameras stink, but the REAL loss for Sun Times readers in Chicago is people who know photojournalism.

If reporters knew how to take pictures that told a story, the staff photographers would have been gone a long, long time ago.

Given the same equipment -- lousy or good, doesn't matter -- a pro will always get far better shots than an amateur.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 4:44:14 pm

Amen to that, Dave - it really boils down to subject choice and composition, not to mention careful use of light and shadow (and a knowledge of darkroom technique sure helps - that's why they're still teaching with film cameras in many schools). The pro photographer draws upon a lifetime of experience and technical knowledge, and it just can not be replaced with a gizmo that does the work for you (or thinks it does)...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 5:18:25 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "If reporters knew how to take pictures that told a story, the staff photographers would have been gone a long, long time ago.

Given the same equipment -- lousy or good, doesn't matter -- a pro will always get far better shots than an amateur."


Absolutely. And the Sun-Times just canned them all.

It's not about the gear.


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Gary Huff
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:09:42 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Absolutely. And the Sun-Times just canned them all. It's not about the gear.

Just to play Devil's Advocate here for a moment, can the gear advance to the point where it can take over a lot of the "skill set" that a simple mastery would have been used for in the past? Not everyone who is a professional photography is of the same skill set. There are varying degrees of expertise, creativity, and fundamental knowledge of how photography works and how we as humans in general find images pleasurable.

Were the staff photogs at the Sun-Times at the top of their game? Probably not every single one...perhaps not even any of them.

And how much of a difference will it make? If we compare the photography coverage a year from now with the photography coverage a year before now be noticeably different? I think it would make for an interesting test in 2014 myself.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:42:37 pm

I don't think a citizen journalist with an iPhone is going to match the quality, I just don't, especially of a Pulitzer Prize winner.

This story is not about the gear, it is about rearranging for some sort of future. We are seeing it everywhere around the world in business. This forum is dedicated to an aspect of it.

Instead of the Sun-Times trying to train current and loyal staff on new methods, they let them go, and figured they can get more out of a freelance talent pool.

Hopefully, some of the ones that were let go will be hired back on a freelance basis, and my guess is that it will be the ones that we be able to switch to video, and report.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:42:58 pm

[Gary Huff] "...can the gear advance to the point where it can take over a lot of the "skill set" that a simple mastery would have been used for in the past?"

Nope. Here's why:
A reporter's principal duty is to get the story and write it. Reporters don't spend time searching for good shots. They spend time taking notes, checking sources, talking to people and writing; these days it's both for online with a deadline of RIGHT NOW and for a story, which takes more time but gives greater perspective.

Does the job of looking for a really good shot supersede those duties? No, the process of getting a shot (or video) is jammed into a stray moment or two. It's an afterthought. and it doesn't get a person's best effort.

Thus the skill of photojournalism is replaced by the chore of getting snapshots that do little more than document that the reporter was present.

Take a look at who wins AP photojournalism awards. They aren't reporters. It's not that reporters aren't allowed to enter their photos, but that they have neither the experience in event photography nor the time to devote to capturing just the right subject and moment that can define a story.

I wouldn't be surprised if a reporter has won such an award, but it wasn't because of their well-developed professional chops: it was dumb luck. Professional photojournalists make their own luck.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Gary Huff
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 7:49:39 pm

[Dave LaRonde] " They spend time taking notes, checking sources, talking to people and writing; these days it's both for online with a deadline of RIGHT NOW and for a story, which takes more time but gives greater perspective."

They mostly spend time getting soundbites from people on the scene...then they do all of that back at the office. Taking the photos would be done at the same time they are on sight getting soundbites.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 8:11:56 pm

[Gary Huff] "They mostly spend time getting soundbites from people on the scene...then they do all of that back at the office. Taking the photos would be done at the same time they are on site getting soundbites."

Um, video photographers and radio reporters get sound bites. Print reporters get quotes.

Now, is the time when the reporter getting quotes when the staff photographer would be taking the shot... if there WAS a staff photographer? Despite your seemingly-clever solution, it's still an afterthought, and looks like an afterthought.

During a contentious, heated city council meeting, is it better for a print reporter to concentrate on getting a great tight shot of a councilwoman in mid-sentence, pointing her finger angrily at her adversary, or to write down the quote?

I tell you, a print reporter doesn't get good shots, a print reporter gets afterthoughts.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Gary Huff
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 5, 2013 at 2:51:43 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Um, video photographers and radio reporters get sound bites. Print reporters get quotes."

You're right...I was just thinking of the process in which the reporter, from my understanding, uses a recorder and transcribes it later, instead of writing it down at the moment.

[Dave LaRonde] "During a contentious, heated city council meeting, is it better for a print reporter to concentrate on getting a great tight shot of a councilwoman in mid-sentence, pointing her finger angrily at her adversary, or to write down the quote?"

Which is why this wouldn't happen. Unless print reporters are still writing down in real-time, which I highly doubt.

[Dave LaRonde] "I tell you, a print reporter doesn't get good shots, a print reporter gets afterthoughts."

Like I wondered, I'd be interested to see the difference between a year ago and a year from now.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 5, 2013 at 4:42:57 pm

[Gary Huff] "...I was just thinking of the process in which the reporter, from my understanding, uses a recorder and transcribes it later, instead of writing it down at the moment."

Having worked at a TV/Newspaper combo with a combined newsroom, I can attest that print reporters still take notes in a reporter's notebook because the notebooks can be archived. They are often referred to when stories are revisited later.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Gary Huff
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 5, 2013 at 6:58:28 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Having worked at a TV/Newspaper combo with a combined newsroom, I can attest that print reporters still take notes in a reporter's notebook because the notebooks can be archived. They are often referred to when stories are revisited later."

Then I shall concede to your experience. Mine's just been radio/TV news.


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Ridley Walker
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 6:59:02 pm

[Gary Huff] "Were the staff photogs at the Sun-Times at the top of their game? Probably not every single one...perhaps not even any of them.
"



"Among those laid off was longtime Sun-Times photographer John H. White, who won a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1982. In winning the award, White was praised for his “consistently excellent work on a variety of subjects.”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-30/business/chi-chicago-sun-time...


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Gary Huff
Re: OT: Just when I thought I'd seen it all with the Creative Cloud only decision I found this
on Jun 4, 2013 at 7:45:57 pm

1982 was over 32 years ago...how do we know he still had it in him?

After all, Francis Ford Coppola once made The Godfather.

(again, being Devil's Advocate here)


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