Last Thursday was a sad day. The Chicago Sun-Times cruelly shut down its photography department. Twenty eight photojournalists—including the legendary, Pulitzer Prize winner John H. White, got axed. Mercilessly.
Of course, the Chicago Sun-Times had an excuse for firing its staffers. The paper wanted to evolve with its digitally savvy customers. And by bolstering its reporting capabilities, the Chicago Sun-Times was going to train its reporters in iPhoneography to produce photo contents for the paper. What a lame excuse!
How firing a Pulitzer Prize winner and twenty seven photojournalists, with years of experience in the field, would help the Chicago Sun-Times strengthen and support any visual element?
Alex Garcia from the Chicago Tribune called the Chicago Sun-Times’ decision “idiotic”; which I agreed. By the way, what good would a camera phone do in the hands of a wordsmith? A good writer wasn’t a good visual journalist. That’s why they chose to write.
As much as I love Hipstamatic and Instagram, I couldn’t argue with Mr. Garcia when he pointed out that a camera phone did not have a telephoto to see beyond the police lines. Also, camera phones didn’t have any manual feature to deal with situations where autoexposure would fail. And if you’re an iPhoneographer, you knew how long the battery would last in camera mode.
I wouldn’t call this evolving and bolstering, would you?