Photographers hit hardest by newspaper layoffs


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A Pew Research Center study shows that photographers have been hit hardest by US newspaper layoffs since 2000. There has been a 32% reduction in writing staff (from ~25,500 to ~17,500 writers), but newspaper photographers’ numbers have decreased about 42% (from 6,171 to 3,493). Newspapers frequently cite changing technologies or ease of training writers to take photos or video as they report the news. Over at Sun-Times/Dark Times we’ve seen just how bad that can get through comparisons between Tribune and Sun-Times coverage after the Sun-Times laid off its entire photography staff.

I always find it curious that newspapers are quick to train writers to serve as photographers in these situations, and that almost never goes the other way.


  1. [...] Photojournalists suffer most in newspaper layoffs [...]

  2. Training writers only charge with two jobs to one person. I know that very well because I started writing and then ended doing photos. Years ago I did both things to sell the package and is a lot hard and difficult. Sometimes you are interviewing someone and see that other thing is happening and probably could be a lead photo. A fraction of second and is gone. Technology can’t solve that. To do well both things you must to concentrate in your task. The same with the photo and video skills. The only thing that this heads of newspaper are doing is lowering the level of journalism. I wonder how this will affect the media thru the years pass by. The really question that nobody appears could reply is if the audience don’t pay attention in this changes and continue purchasing this newspapers or whatever media that choose this path. If they still continue getting advertisements and subscriptions, then we are dead. If no, the media will be death soon or slowly. Or they will need to re hire professional people.

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