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  1. #1

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    Are newspaper photography self-destructing?

    Since I retired early from news photography some time ago, the few people I still know who are active in the profession, tell me things are really dire, and they can't wait to get out. The obsession with "celebrity" that afflicts the media seems to have resulted in younger photographers who are invariably "paparazzi
    orientated"......running around like panicky headless chickens squirting off ten frames a second on their digis.

    The thoughtful, discreet kind of photographer is no longer wanted...it's all "up in yer face" flash on camera rubbish.

    If newspaper editors think this is what people want, then how come newspaper circulation continues its steady decline into almost certain eventual oblivion?

    And since the "digital revolution"....so many punters are sending in pictures to magazines etc., for free, that some don't even want to pay for professional pictures anymore.

    Is this happening in other countries apart from the UK too?...I suspect it is in some form or other.

  2. #2

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    I think newspapers (in the paper form) have already fully self-destructed. They simply can't keep up with the other transmission mediums in terms of speed, etc. I still read them but mostly to skim the advertisments and read in-depth articles.

  3. #3

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    Apologies for my poor grammar in title...should read... IS newspaper photography self-destructing?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    I think newspapers (in the paper form) have already fully self-destructed. They simply can't keep up with the other transmission mediums in terms of speed, etc. I still read them but mostly to skim the advertisments and read in-depth articles.


    I think there is a place for the printed media, particularly for the "in depth" articles you mention.....TV and The Web seem to represent the "instant fix" side of news, newspapers should offer more analysis in depth, both in words and pictures...but where are the "great" writers of today, with imagination and insight? They seem few and far between. Even the tabloids of yesteryear had at least one or two really great feature writers.

    Are people generally concerned with such reading today?.....Or are they fixated by lurid tales of "celebrities" who are simply famous for being famous.
    Last edited by rolleiman; 11-01-2011 at 01:06 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling mistake

  5. #5
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    A couple of days ago I watched a programme about Newsreel film companies (mainly British Pathé) as shown in cinemas. This showed that by the 1970s, no one was interested in going to the cinema for their news as this was now supplied by TV.

    I am quite surprised that newspapers are still going strong. I would have thought that they would have gone the same way as the newsreels for the same reasons.


    Steve.

  6. #6

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    As a newspaper photographer in the US I can say, to answer the question in the heading: No.

    To answer "how come newspaper circulation continues its steady decline?": the answers are many, but none because of photography.

    There are lots of outside forces acting on newspapers, it is not (entirely) a self-inflicted wounding. Lots of people blame newspapers for failing to react nimbly enough to the once-oncoming digital tide. True enough, but also I say it is a lot of people basically saying : "You failed to become Google." Which is not particularly fair to the newspaper industry as a whole.

  7. #7

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    Newspapers are becoming a relic for two primary reasons -- the changing economics of marketing, and changes in cultural values. On the marketing front: traditionally daily newspapers collected only 25-30% of their revenue from subscriptions; the rest was from advertising. Thus, readers had to directly pay only a relatively small share of the actual costs. Radio, and then TV, cut into that, but not like the internet. Here's a factoid to ponder: Google's advertising revenue exceeds the aggregate advertising revenue of every single newspaper in the United States. Almost as significant is the fact that the internet has democratized marketing -- retailer websites essentially make newspaper websites irrelevant from an advertising standpoint. On the cultural front, humans are giving in to their ADHD tendencies, thanks in no small part to technology. Short attention spans help all animals escape the threat-of-the-moment, but it wreaks havoc on long-term planning. Just about everything in our lives has been souped up and accelerated by new technologies. And, it is worth noting, it has accelerated more than our lives; it has laid the groundwork for the demise of civilization as we know it.

    Take lots of pictures.
    duane

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbretz View Post
    ...I say it is a lot of people basically saying : "You failed to become Google." Which is not particularly fair to the newspaper industry as a whole.
    True, and more true.

  9. #9

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    [QUOTE=billbretz;1253901
    There are lots of outside forces acting on newspapers, it is not (entirely) a self-inflicted wounding. Lots of people blame newspapers for failing to react nimbly enough to the once-oncoming digital tide. True enough, but also I say it is a lot of people basically saying : "You failed to become Google." Which is not particularly fair to the newspaper industry as a whole.[/QUOTE]



    I agree there are many "outside forces" causing a decline in newspaper readership. It is the way they've responded to these outside challenges that is questionable........"Going downmarket"..seems to be the accepted mantra, but is it working?......falling circulations all round would seem to indicate not.

    Perhaps "quality" is considered "old technology"?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    I think there is a place for the printed media, particularly for the "in depth" articles you mention.....TV and The Web seem to represent the "instant fix" side of news, newspapers should offer more analysis in depth, both in words and pictures...but where are the "great" writers of today, with imagination and insight? They seem few and far between. Even the tabloids of yesteryear had at least one or two really great feature writers.

    Are people generally concerned with such reading today?.....Or are they fixated by lurid tales of "celebrities" who are simply famous for being famous.
    They web is over, its not the future. The web only covers topics started in the last 5 years. APUG doesn't even show up in google unless you specifically search for it by name. Neither do any of the traditional camera stores in Australia. Its very strange, but in the past year, lots of sites (like APUG and afore mentioned camera shops) are no longer appearing. Things that I *KNOW* are there are being made to "vanish".

    Time for a return to news groups and magazines. The central control of google is scary.

    Daniel.

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