Newspaper Lay-Offs

Seahawks Mini Earthquake (Image 1)

The Chicago Sun Times laid off nearly two-dozen full time photographers Thursday.

Some of these shutter-bugs had been with the company for decades, helping define the city and the world through their lenses.

But they're now out of work and it appears technology is partly to blame.

Paul Meinke has details.

Among his brothers and sisters who shoot stills, john white is considered a legend.

The Pulitzer Prize winner today is out of work.

So too is Scott Stewart after 28 years at the sun-times.

Stewart says, “All of us gone.  All of us… in one mass wipe-out.”

Some figured lay-offs were coming when they were summoned to a meeting this morning, but the whole photo department?

All the shooters at the sun-times, Gary Post Tribune, all the sun-times suburban outlets over two dozen photographers are done.

“Nowadays everybody has an I-phone and what not.  Our writers will be the ones taking the pictures now mixed in with some freelancers I guess.”

The Sun Times says “…business is changing rapidly…”. “…our audiences are seeking more video content…”, and as a result “…we've had to restructure the way we manage multi-media…”

The I-phone and its counterparts have indeed changed the landscape.

Even as we're shooting our story today, a reporter is recording her laid-off photog interview on an I-phone.

“If something's far away, you're not gonna get a pic of it with an I-phone.”

Anyone can take a picture, but it's the trained eye that catches what others don't see, and over the years, the photographers at the sun-times have been on the front lines, writing history's first draft with pictures that tell us who we are.

“That is what the company loses: the ability to see something different. that's what makes a good photographer- seeing something nobody else sees, and that's what they are giving up.”

This picture from last night's hawks triumph is Scott Stewart's last published photo in the sun-times.

“I know I gave that paper great images. I know I did. It was a great ride. Twenty-eight years. I've done it all.  But you know, it's the way things are going.”

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