^ (I will continue your line of thought). John H. White, a photographer who inspires and gives his heart to the field (in work and by giving back as a teacher of photography).....
Ratty - Is your comment a statement or a question? This kind of thread, regardless of where posted here is just dang sad. Does it really matter where it's posted at this point? If so report it to a mod and move on with your day and not stir the pot an fan the flames....
Give that above a read and think about who we are talking about; photographers not as Tribune v Sun Times, but photographers, who inspire...
When your cool, new-age, high-tech business model says you must fire Pulitzer Prize award winning staff photographers and replace them with random teenagers with IPhone video cameras who just happened to be walking by, I think it tells you all you need to know about the intellectual and technological Walmart-ization of not just the newspaper industry, but of your very culture itself.
The local Ganett paper's flat rate take it or leave it, we own the copyright for freelance work is $40 last time I checked.
Unless you have a once in a lifetime photo that occurs in isolation you won't command top dollar. Look at how many "citizen" robot cameras captured the asteroid over Russia a couple months back. You could have a great photo, but nobody would give yours a second glance with a the "free stuff" or cheap stuff to be had. It's over, I'm done, the people on the cigarette boats, and who vacation in the French Alps have won.
It's a business decision that they're passing off as money-related, but that really comes down to the decrease in need for quality.
What I've been noticing in reading news stories is that it's not just the photography. No matter the source, news stories have so many grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, they look like they're being written by the same random teenagers who'd rather be texting. Stories are written so quickly and published within seconds - no one edits them and no one fact checks. Yet the masses take it all as gospel.
Ok Ken and VPW - Where are you getting the info that the Sun Times is going to use crowd-sourced-kids-off-the-street-with-iPhones for their videography? I, like all of you are sad to hear those still photographers in my community are affected, though your characterization of videography as somehow the most revolting media in the world is frankly rude to anyone in videography. I respect your dissatisfaction with the Sun Times move, but respectfully disagree with your characterization of those who are videographers. I think you are venting about more than what is actually occurring here...
No surprise here. I remember a discussion I had with a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer over an Anchor Beer in San Francisco something like 20 years ago. Digital was just taking over the newspaper business and graphical web browsers for the Internet were beginning to appear. We discussed reporters of the future needing to be triple threat players: reporters, still photographers and videographers. I guess now they must also be social media experts as well.
The value of isolated instances is not what they say about themselves. It's how they fit into and what they say about the bigger picture. A single dot has little meaning beyond its own existence. A scatter chart filled with dots begins to show patterns. A fully populated series of patterns begin to show tendencies. And enough tendencies show direction. I did not use the term "Walmart-ization" lightly. Nor did I use it out of context. Reread Bethe's post above.
You have to look for and see the bigger picture, if you want to understand what is really happening.