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.