Then there is this hasty economic study by me posted elsewhere today.
Re: Payment of Pros when there are citizen journalists nearby----
Wondering with news how many "freebies" will be gotten from i-phone jocks. How are prices negotiated for breaking news? If you hold out for $10,000 rather than $500 and someone beats you to the punch that doesn't know what they have and is thrilled with $50, nobody wins. I know the "public" will see this as morbid for a photographer to want $10,000 or even $1000 from a great shot from something like the Boston explosion last week... but we have kids and cars, and needs. I have yet to find a grocery store that lets me redeem a "photo-credit".
-- I've seen this coming for a couple years. My photojournalism prof warned me in 1986. A few others posting here have twice my experience in the business of photojournalism. Just my two cents and I respect and appreciate insight from even more seasoned APUG members.
My question with the Tribune using strictly freelancers is it going to raise or lower the quality of editorial work?
The Sun Times is the paper using freelancers.....the Tribune is the paper in your OP that wrote about the Sun Times freelancing....the Trib is the Sun Times biggest competitor...
Re your question, no...
The problem is that there is a sea change going on that is impossible to stop.
With the advent of a camera in everything, there are cameras everywhere in our lives. The big ticket images are on the endangered list.
This has happened in other fields, and is happening in photography now.
My family ran painting companies for years, as the Home Depots of the world expanded, we did less and less business as people painted their own homes, however badly. They accepted dismal results in the name of saving money.
We needed to feed our families as well. We retreated into commercial properties only, as the unstoppable tide swept on. The improvement in paints now, and more properly, referred to as coatings required less frequent painting.
What was year wound business became seasonal.
Our family has not painted for years. Fortunately I was young enough to move on, and the others held on long enough to retire.
What was a very good paying trade is now populated by people who make no more than we did over 30 years ago.
So I fear it is with photography.
I am not trying to be heartless or cruel. I have long since lost track of how many jobs, and career paths I have had. Not because I wanted to, but because it meant survival. Most of the places I have worked, no longer exist. (Hopefully it wasn't me... ;-)
I love photography, I always have. I likely always will. But I expect more of these stories, not fewer.
The newspaper I just retired from here in Ogden has done this too. When 4/6ths of the photo staff quit last year for better jobs that actually gave you pay raises, the photo editor bought a bunch of point and shoots and handed them out.
I asked if we could be paid at least $5 each for any picture that ran -- incentive, what a concept -- and was told to be glad I still had a job. The paper has since added a couple of new photographers who also write stories, but the output from the reporters with those point and shoots is iffy at best.
The problem that is causing all this is the severe decline in ad revenue, coupled with the firm belief by the bean counters who've bought all the papers in this country that the readers won't notice the difference.
Losing your job is a pain, that has happen to me a number of times over the years.