Chicago SunTimes = Fail
June 1, 2013
Way to go Chicago SunTimes!
In what might be the most bizarre action a major market newspaper could do, the Chicago SunTimes emailed all staff photographers Wednesday night and told them there was a meeting scheduled for 9:30am Thursday morning. Everyone showed up, and were told that they were being let go. Nice.
According to management, photography duties will be taken over by freelancers and reporters. Reporters are being told they will have to take an iPhone photography class. You can bet they are thrilled. Like they don’t have enough on their minds trying to write an accurate story. All photographers had to turn in their gear. The SunTimes stated that some of the newly fired photographers could come back as freelancers. Well, isn’t that nice of them. What gear are they going to use? A photojournalist has to be able to work in any conditions. The gear that is used it top of the line stuff. That top of the line stuff is not cheap and just doing freelance stuff is not going to get them that gear. Trust me. I know. Unless of course, you figure out how not to eat.
Chicago Newspaper Guild Executive Director Craig Rosenbaum tells Marek. “We think this is a terrible move for the paper and community.” Ya Think??? Alex Garcia from the Chicago Tribune wrote a great story about this whole debacle. You can read it here.
I can’t wait to see what’s going to show up page one above the fold. This has the potential to be fun bad. Below is a spoof of the new freelance employment application. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I’m thinking they will regret this move and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to think that.