Chicago Sun-Times Fires Photographers in Favor of iPhone-Armed Reporters

In a depressing sign of the times, the Chicago Sun-Times has let go of its entire staff of photographers and will require reporters to take mandatory iPhone photography lessons. The cost-cutting measure was made partially due to the iPhone’s impressive camera and partially due to horrible judgement. While it’s a credit to how far phone cameras have come, it’s a slap in the face to skilled photographers everywhere. The decision screams “suit” and “bottom line,” with no consideration for quality content.

While I’m sure there are several Chicago Sun-Times reporters that can frame a snazzy photo, I’m also sure there are many that take crappy pictures. Writing quality news and taking quality news photographs are two extremely different skills. Being able to tell a story or complement a news piece with an image is a difficult thing to do well. It’s upsetting that the Chicago Sun-Times doesn’t see the value of quality photojournalism. Thinking that a team of iPhone-equipped reporters is an adequate replacements for trained photographers is just stupid.


Author: RPadTV

9 thoughts on “Chicago Sun-Times Fires Photographers in Favor of iPhone-Armed Reporters”

  1. There is also talk that this was a union busting move, and that in a year or so they will be creating a new photography department. No matter what this is a bad decision that came down in poor taste.

  2. Who gives a shit? Honestly. It’s a newspaper. Yesterday’s news served today with some nice grainy pictures on this low quality paper. Those ppl should be thankful they still have jobs and are being invested in in such a dying industry.

    1. The staff was also responsible for photos and videos on the web site. Everything will be sourced to photo services and freelancers now.

      1. I see no problem with this. Everyone has a camera these days and I don’t need the glamour or sensational pics from a “pro”. 9.9/10 I just read the text anyway.

  3. I disagree. You need to see this issue from a different perspective. You’re telling us that dedicated, professional photographers are needed for professionally written stories.

    I am telling you that the Chicago Sun-Times is actually doing something great by having it’s photography catch up with the quality of their writing. You see, REAL, QUALITY journalistic reporting is pretty much dead. To be fair, it’s been dying a slow, painful death for the past few decades, but the internet has served as a huge catalyst. This move by the Sun-Times is simply another nail in the already-shut coffin that houses Journalism’s dead body.

    Photojournalism and professional photographers WERE once a necessity in the golden age of reporting. For better or worse, modern technology has enabled each and every one of us to become a report and a photographer (with varying levels of quality, of course). The good news is that we are not longer dependent on a handful of companies as the gatekeepers of information. Freedom of the Press now includes all of us (side note: THIS is what the Citizens United Supreme Court case was really all about, by the way. ) The Citizens United case reinforced the fact that all of us have “Freedom of the Press” rights, and not just the handful of big news companies… which always makes me wonder why the hell people hate this so much if it gives us (citizens) more power.

    The bad news, however, is quite simply over-saturation. Like I said before, each and every one of us is now a reporter and a photographer (with varying levels of quality). Because of this over-saturation, people seek out which news or blog reporting they best relate to, and unfortunately, this phenomenon takes an all-too-familiar “lowest-common-denominator” turn for the worse.

    To give a “close-to-home” example; Let’s say that I used to be on IGN all the time for my game-related news and stuff until I discovered Now, I’m on more than I am on IGN because of whatever reason (maybe the vaping reviews?) So now, let’s say that I am not alone and a whole bunch of IGN readers now switch over to for geek-related stuff. Now, IGN will be feeling the pinch of reduced site hits which means less ad money, which means they either have to cut, cut, cut or try to get those hits back. Maybe they do a combination of both. Now IGN has a page dedicated to vaping, plus they have told their reporters that they are to do all of their interviews on their iPhones since they will be getting rid of their expensive HD video cameras to try to raise some money and cut costs. Of course the IGN reporters argue and bitch about this, but the IGN brass simply points to and shows Raymond doing vaping interviews with a shitter camera than IGN has and says that “ is gaining viewers while we are losing them, so that means that the people don’t care about super-clear HD images, but content” (and he would be right). This both gives the justification to get rid of the professional video/photography equipment and staff and save some money in the short-run. Before, IGN was the end-all, be-all of gaming news, but now, there is so much competition, that they are more focused on content and doing whatever it takes to keep viewers or get more viewers, even if it means sinking to’s level (no offense) because there are so many of them out there and not all of them have to be million-hit sites to be successful.


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