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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Romenesko’

‘Chicago Sun-Times’ Lays Off Entire Photography Staff

It’s a sad day for photographers at the Chicago Sun-Times and journalism in general as a sign of the times.

As per The Huffington Post, sources told Chicago Tribune media reporter Robert Channick¬†about 20 full-time staffers received their pink slips. He tweeted, “Chicago Sun-Times lays off its full photography staff; plans to use freelancers going forward.”

The actual number of employees impacted could be closer to 30, as per Crain’s Chicago Business. The Sun-Times includes publications such as The Chicago Reader.

As for the reason? An increased demand for video and “other multimedia.” Jim Romenesko posted a statement on his site which was issued by the newspaper:

“The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements. The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network.”

Apparently the 10th largest circulating newspaper in the country plans to rely on freelancers and reporters using their smart phones.

As pointed out by Forbes, the Sun-Times won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. The story entailed a package about the continuous level of violence.  John J. Kim, staff photographer, was among the winners.

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Tales From 1990

Two stories have hit the intertubes today of very talented journalists struggling with new media.

Susie Gharib, profiled by MarketWatch writer Jon Friedman, is “one of the best and most popular business-television journalists on the scene,” but she doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter.

Jim Romenesko somewhat snarkily linked to the item on Twitter, saying, “Maybe it’s best that network anchors keep quiet about their social media cluelessness.”

Meanwhile, WaPo’s Ian Shapira has been trying to learn video in a master’s program at American University.

He writes:

My transition from writer to video journalist has not been comfortable. I constantly fumbled with the tripod — right in front of my subject — which was about as embarrassing as getting caught with one’s fly open. And I spent so many hours late into the evening with the video editing software Final Cut Express that I wondered whether I was even doing journalism anymore, or computer science. One huge lesson learned: Never say “videographer.”

…Does it even make sense for writers like me to learn how to shoot and edit video? For video journalists to become writers? Shouldn’t news organizations such as The Post invest in more specialists? Or, given our industry’s financial upheaval, is a more versatile staff better?

All tough questions. But it seems that even in 2010, old-school journos–if they have the chops–are fine.

The Post doesn’t appear to let us embed the video Shapira just finished (sigh), so click the screenshot to go to the post.