Chicago Sun-Times Fires Photo Staff, Will Train Reporters to Use iPhones For Photos

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iphone-camera-iconA day after the Chicago Sun-Times fired the entirety of its 28-person photo staff, Chicago media critic Robert Feder (via Cult of Mac) is reporting that the newspaper is training its reporters in iPhone photography to produce the photo content the paper requires.

Sun-Times reporters begin mandatory training today on "iPhone photography basics" following elimination of the paper's entire photography staff. "In the coming days and weeks, we'll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need," managing editor Craig Newman tells staffers in a memo.

Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia criticized the move, calling it "idiotic" because reporters are not prepared to create both visual and written content. He also criticized using iPhones for photojournalism because the smartphone lacks options like different lenses and manual controls, which DSLR's have.

An iPhone is just an iPhone. It doesn’t have a telephoto to see way past police lines or across a field, ballroom or four-lane highway. It doesn’t have a lot of manual controls to deal with the countless situations that automatic exposure will fail to capture. How many situations are 18% gray, anyway?

Apple's various iPhones have become some of the most popular cameras on Flickr, outranking more advanced DSLR cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Apple has made efforts to greatly improve the iPhone's camera over its past few iterations and in late April, the company even released an ad focusing on the popularity of the iPhone's camera.

Top Rated Comments

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97 months ago
Sounds like a headline straight from The Onion.
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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97 months ago
I agree. No way is phone photograph no more than casual photography. Serious photography will always be with SLR. Stupid decision
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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97 months ago

Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.


Photographers have often stayed current with technology - they shoot with digital cameras of the latest variety. I'm not sure you have a valid argument here.

There's a difference between shooting with an iPhone and shooting with a DSLR. There's a difference between amateur reporting and photography and professional.

If one doesn't know the difference or thinks it doesn't matter "much" - perhaps those people shouldn't be discussing it.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
97 months ago
Desperate moves to reduce costs? If they were in trouble prior to this idiotic move, then they have just gotten themselves into even more trouble.

I wonder if others will follow the same move.

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Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.


Your ignorance amuses me.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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97 months ago
They probably should have fired all the reporters and taught the photographers to write instead; it would be easier. (oh no he didn't!!)
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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97 months ago
While I agree that it's not good for journalism, it's another part of the pay to play world we live in. How many of you opposed to this would buy a subscription/pay more to a news service to have an incrementally better picture? People aren't hardly willing to pay anything as it is so I'm not surprised when I see companies make moves like this. Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yup.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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