It was not too long ago that Chicago Sun-Times made national headlines and shocked photographers around the world when it purged its entire photojournalism staff and replaced them with iPhone ‘trained’ reporters. That’s right – iPhone trained writers now man the photo desk as well. The response was so impressive that even Steven Colbert took a few stabs at the media outlet’s lack of respect for its own journalists in a humorous segment on The Colbert Report.
But just when Chicago Sun-Times thought the attention had died down, Chicago-based freelance photographer Taylor Glascock has been keeping the discussion alive on her Tumblr page. Glascock’s Tumblr blog compares the Sun-Times’ photography with that of its direct competitor, the Chicago Tribune. After a few months, we now have a good collection of covers and web pages to peruse. Probably not the quality journalism Sun-Times was hoping for.
“I think that you can’t just assume that if you give [reporters] a camera they will come out with the same result as someone who is trained.”
Chicago Sun Times vs. Chicago Tribune
Guess which one still uses staff photographers:
“If photographers had to write all the stories it wouldn’t be pretty either.”
To check out Glascock’s Tumblr, click here.
So what are your thoughts? Is photojournalism dead – or will media outlets appreciate the value of trained photographic professionals?
Update: It turns out the June 25th cover comparison isn’t entirely fair. The Sun-Times actually had a special wrap-around for that day’s paper. The examples here are trying to exclude professional photographers that work for the Sun-Times as freelancers. The focus is on images provided by iPhone-toting writers vs Chicago Tribune professional staff photographers.
Until Next Time . . .
Stay Inspired ~ Jules