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Chicago Sun-Times fires its photography staff, will train reporters on using the Apple iPhone for pictures

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Chicago Sun-Times fires its photography staff, will train reporters on using the Apple iPhone for pictures
It is no surprise that Americans don't turn to the newspaper to get informed anymore. It started in the 1960's with network news coming into your home every evening. The next hit to the daily paper came from the internet, and now most people get their information from smartphone and tablet apps. Most papers in the U.S. are on borrowed time.

Take the Chicago Sun-Times. The paper, once a thriving big city operation, has just fired its whole photography staff. The paper is going to go with pictures "from the field" meaning that it will immediately train reporters on "iPhone photography basics" and reporters will now be responsible for taking pictures for their own stories.

The bigger issue here is that a major U.S. metropolitan paper is telling the professional photographers that it fired that their job could be done by someone without experience as long as they have an Apple iPhone to capture an image. Just giving someone an iPhone doesn't make them a professional photographer although Apple feeds on that image as seen with with its latest camera-centric ad.

But there is another possibility here. The paper was negotiating with the photographers' union and now that they canned the whole bunch, the paper could decide to hire back some of the photographers on a part time basis without healthcare or other benefits and in essence, breaking the union.

How many years does the newspaper industry have until we bury it completely? 

"Most Sun-Times photojournalists I knew, because of their decades of experience, were unsung journalists more than photographers. They knew how things worked and what made communities tick. They found stories and passed them on. They helped to shape stories, correct misperceptions and convey understandings that have deep resonance with readers. I am sure that many of their reporter colleagues would attest to this ... by eliminating their deep knowledge, connection and trust to their communities, the Sun-Times has signalled to its readership that it doesn’t really care."-Alex Garcia, former Chicago Sun-Times Reporter

source: electronista

130 Comments
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posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:01 7

1. kozza3 (Posts: 574; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


Duh, everyone knows that an iPhone will take the most amazing picture ever and anyone can take the most amazing picture using an iPhone

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:40 4

14. Jack58221 (Posts: 120; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


* sarcasm filter processing... processing... processing.. analysis complete* phone means jack

someone who knows what they are doing could make a good news pic 1.3mp camera from a flip phone.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 10:35 4

66. AngryAppleCustomer. (Posts: 30; Member since: 01 May 2013)


Someone doesnt know facts from stupid claims. Apple has the best camera. Period.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:32 3

77. metalpoet (unregistered)


Your an imbecile! Im no professional photographer but even I know that an actual professional camera will do much better shots than a smartphone, although it wont be like that for long. For a big well known Newspaper company to fire its professional photographers who have all had training doing something they love and have their lives to is seriously sickening. Im all for the evolution of technology but this is mad! Now some punk ass spoiled rotten kid will have an undeserved job because he/she has a f***ing iPhone. Wow we Americans are a bunch of retards!

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 21:31 11

32. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6148; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


please Iphone/Android cant take GOOD PICTURES AS THE CANON MARK III, II. or the NIKON D7100 If i was a reporter i would be using DSRL camera not some small camera on my Phone.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 02:04 4

50. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2993; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Agreed! There's so much difference in taking casual shots through the phone and using a dedicated DSLR camera for professional purpose.
Being a journalist, using lesser means should not be accepted, i don't care if it's Nokia, Samsung, Sony or Apple.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 06:50 4

56. therealestboy (Posts: 47; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Yes, there is a difference, but the people watching the news on their low resolution is not going to see the difference one bit. So the point of having DSLR is moot.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 10:06 2

65. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2993; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


If journalists clicked images keeping in mind that it's only for viewers who won't give a damn about the size and clarity, there's no point in photographers using DSLRs for photo-shoots either. According to you, a 5 megapixel camera is good enough is it will fit a full page magazine spread.
There's something behind you see, people who love their job do it with passion, and there are those who do it just for the sake of doing it.
There will be audiences watching bits of news in a low resolution, hell, some won't even bother looking at it, but there's a reason behind using dedicated cameras.
It is their job to use DSLRs for their designation.
While i won't argue about taking impromptu shots with mobile cameras, i will discourage using mobile cameras as a substitute for a DSLR on an assigned duty.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:33 1

78. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Not 5, but 8 megapixel's good enough.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:44

87. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2993; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Once again, 'according to him' 5 megapixel is enough.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 22:20 4

39. arsenaljimenez (Posts: 137; Member since: 03 May 2012)


Idiots should have waited for the nokia lumia EOS :)

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:34 1

79. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


I don't think they would want to carry bricks with them. :)

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 06:05 3

55. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


Seriously, this is one of the most embarrassing things ever happened to journalism...

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:34

80. metalpoet (unregistered)


The age of creativity is dead, pre pare to be dominated to an addicition to technology. And apple is elading the charge to turning everybody into a mindless armies all doing the same thing, most likely have serial numbers tattooed on our foreheads.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 16:12 2

99. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Bro I want some of what you're smoking, but my job drug tests lol. Just kidding, tech is addicting.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 11:33

67. ticktockclock (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Jun 2013)


wow an idiot..hopefully your not.and just being sarcastic.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 16:43 2

105. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/6-way-blind-camera-comparison-the-results_id41342

posted on 03 Jun 2013, 01:41

126. ama3654 (Posts: 249; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-comparison-Samsung-Galaxy-S4-vs-HTC-One-Sony-Xperia-Z--iPhone-5-Nokia-Lumia-920-and-Galaxy-S-III_id3285

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:42

86. metalpoet (unregistered)


Apple paid them to do this i f***ing promise it!

Either that or some douche at the Chicago sun times has stock in apple!

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 16:14 2

100. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I think droiddoes PhoneArenaUser and gmr1 paid them.

posted on 03 Jun 2013, 07:32 1

129. kindlefireowner (Posts: 334; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


? How many people that made comments on this article, actually brought a newspaper in the last week. I looked at the photos in my local Sunday paper, there is no need for professional photographers at this point. Buy a paper and look at the photos from local stories. There were no night photos. It's not like newspaper print dozens of night photos anyway.

If you can read, this is about breaking that union and controlling cost.
Stop drinking the Kool-Aid fandroids.

posted on 03 Jun 2013, 12:00

130. donfem (Posts: 519; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I guess 'taking picture" is waht journalism should be all about then?

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:02 7

2. Gawain (Posts: 342; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


At the rate Chicagoans are gunning themselves down, the Tribune won't have much of a readership in the future anyway. Plus, given how poorly the city schools are teaching kids, the paper would've been better off with keeping the photographers and ditching the reporters since literacy is spiraling downward. Some pictures can tell the story without any words at all.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:02 10

3. GTR722 (Posts: 222; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


This is a disgrace for journalism in general, what in the world are they thinking ??

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:11 5

7. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Why don't you explain how it's a disgrace.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 11:35 1

68. ticktockclock (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Jun 2013)


how do you explain yourself?Please do ok?Obviosly your such an apple flamer..and know absolutely nothing?how the hell are able to comment?

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:38 3

82. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Look at yourself first. Calling people 'morons' and 'idiots' who are in favor of iPhoneography. Lmao, why are you crying? tick tock kiss my a$$.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 15:40 2

94. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That dudes post made no sense at all. I answered as best I can though quad.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 15:39 3

93. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dude what sense did that comment even make. I simply asked him to explain his thoughts.

"How do you explain yourself?Please do ok?Obviously your such an apple flamer..and know absolutely nothing?how the hell are able to comment" what the heck does that even mean lol? Wowwww!!!

How do I explain myself? I'm a procreation of my parents.

Obviously I'm an apple flamer? I've also been critical of apple, and always seek to not be part of a flame war.

And know absolutely nothing? 2+2=4

How am I able to comment? By post comment, typing said comment, then posting said comment.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 16:44 2

106. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/6-way-blind-camera-comparison-the-results_id41342

posted on 03 Jun 2013, 01:41

127. ama3654 (Posts: 249; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-comparison-Samsung-Galaxy-S4-vs-HTC-One-Sony-Xperia-Z--iPhone-5-Nokia-Lumia-920-and-Galaxy-S-III_id3285

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:40

84. madpiyal (Posts: 108; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


I think there are things behind the curtain didn't came out. And I found myself laughing looking at the news.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:03 6

4. JMartin22 (Posts: 713; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


Don't they know there are better Nokia and Android handsets out there for taking higher quality photos?

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:21 4

9. bucky (Posts: 1299; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


No there aren't. The 808 is but nothing else.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:25 4

13. JMartin22 (Posts: 713; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


Yes, they are. Stop deluding yourself. The iPhone 5 is not the best camera on the market, even if you don't factor the PureView 808.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:48 4

15. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Why don't you tell which one's the best?

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 06:54 3

57. therealestboy (Posts: 47; Member since: 03 May 2013)


The last time we did a blind test on here the iPhone won. What more do you want to prove that the iPhone 5 camera is one of the best, if not the best? Do you not trust your own eyes? I have the S4 and I can admit the iphone 5 camera is just as good as it, if not better, even a little bit.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 07:19 2

60. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Oh, the realest guy's got a realistic opinion. +1

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 11:36 2

69. ticktockclock (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Jun 2013)


umm what test?s4 killed it..and lumia 928 is that much better stop and let out your apple from your backside.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 15:42 2

95. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dude log off and get out your moms basement for some fresh air, and look at some girls too while your at it.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 16:44 2

107. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/6-way-blind-camera-comparison-the-results_id41342

posted on 03 Jun 2013, 01:41

128. ama3654 (Posts: 249; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-comparison-Samsung-Galaxy-S4-vs-HTC-One-Sony-Xperia-Z--iPhone-5-Nokia-Lumia-920-and-Galaxy-S-III_id3285

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:04 5

5. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Wow, companies are trying to replace EVERYTHING with an iphone or iPad. That's messed up.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:07 5

6. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Not trying to start a flame war, but outta all the phones I've had the iPhone takes the overall best pics/ vids. The built in editing and iMovie app takes it up a notch on the comp. it isn't perfect though.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:22 5

11. JMartin22 (Posts: 713; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


Dream on lol. There are better optical sensors for still photo taking and video recording in both Window and Android handsets today.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:50 4

16. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


And they fail. Please do some research before bashing an original comment. iPhone 5, without OIS, outperforms the L920 and the S4 when it comes to videos.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 20:40 5

21. darkkjedii (Posts: 10134; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


So what, they weren't chosen. Now you dream on. Read the article dummy, cuz it's not a dream.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 05:05 2

54. willard12 (Posts: 706; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


"Not trying to start a flame war".

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:18 4

8. BREvenson (Posts: 204; Member since: 17 May 2012)


Kudos for the Sun-Times for transitioning to a new realm of journalism. While I can't say I'm glad to see people lose their jobs due to technological advances, it's the way of the world nowadays.

I just hope those new photographers keep a close eye and a strong grip on their iPhones: "Apple picking" has been quite popular downtown... :p

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:37

81. metalpoet (unregistered)


Oh i was gonna take this incredibly artistic picture of a this retard with his iPhone using my iPhone but the phone died. hm i guess ill just use my trustee camera that takes AA batteries that i carry in my pokcet :)

This is the death of photojournalism.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:22 8

10. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Stupid, so basically photograhers with many years of experience wasted their lives studying photography when all they needed to do is get an iphone? Absurd. Cheap iPhone photographers will not make up for the quality of the work the professional photographers did or will ever do.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 06:57 1

58. therealestboy (Posts: 47; Member since: 03 May 2013)


I like the people watching the news can see the difference on low-resolution TV or newspaper. Any of the flagship phones can accomplish what a DSLR can accomplish today for the purpose of news photography.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:39

83. metalpoet (unregistered)


isnt that pretty much how it is in this country already. you slave away in school and rack up the debt for your life's passion only for it to be replaced by a cheaper solution that nglects all form of artistic individualism and passion.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 19:23 6

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3235; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Just another thing the iPhone is the best in.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 21:13 2

25. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Replacing Jobs, NICE!

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 21:22 4

26. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Shooting photos and videos.

posted on 01 Jun 2013, 21:27 5

28. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Oh, I thought that was Nokia? That's what N-Fanboy says. From what I saw in the last PA test, the GS4 killed the iPhone. :)

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 02:27 4

51. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


I think you didn't check the low light tests. Also, 'killed' is a bit intense. iPhone has an all rounder camera, not like the S4 which performs horrible in low light. :)

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 10:05 1

64. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Light comes in abundance where I live, so low light performance isn't much a persuader. In the day time, when I take pictures, it killed. Even the One and the 920 fell back a step. Just have to see what the ip6, T6, and 925 have to offer.

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 12:41 1

85. metalpoet (unregistered)


who gives a sh*t about low lights, am i seriously going to be taking high quality pics at a f***ing rave? no your idiot! If your in a low light setting just turn of the damn flash.

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