Fungible Fotographers Fired

Fungible Fotographers Fired

“There’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said last month.

The image is an Associated Press photograph that won the Pulitzer Prize for spot news. It was taken by Nick Ut on June 8, 1972.

Ms. Mayer immediately called her comment a “misstatement” that was taken “out of context.” She even tweeted an apology. But that’s what she said and apparently that’s what the morons in Chicago believe.

The Chicago Sun-Times fired Pulitzer Prize winning photographer John H. White and 28 other top pros this month.



There’s no such thing as a professional photographer anymore.

In a statement, the “news”paper said: “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.”

There’s no such thing as a professional photographer anymore.

The Sun-Times will let its reporters shoot more video and photos. In fact, they are training the reporters to use iPhones to do it.

According to a leaked staff memo the training will include “iPhone photography basics,” as well as capturing and editing video on iOS, and uploading it to the appropriate social sites.

There’s no such thing as a professional photographer anymore.

Perhaps there’s no such thing as a professional race car driver. We could round up 43 soccer moms, teach them to turn left, load them into stock cars at Daytona or Indy cars for the 500, and have the reporters record it all with their iPhones.

Perhaps there’s no such thing as a board certified ophthalmologist. We could create an iPhone app and simply refract our own eyes. And train our neighbors to suck out cataracts with teeny tiny vacuum cleaners.

Perhaps there’s no such thing as a professional football referee. We could round up a platoon of ex-high school jocks-turned Realtors™, train them in football basics, and turn them loose in September. Oops. Never mind.

Back to the Sun-Times.

You think they’ll get this picture with an iPhone?

Crash at LeMans

Do you really think any of the reporters in this famous photograph even thought to take the picture that won the Pulitzer .6 seconds later? Do you think any of them even saw Jack Ruby? The Pulitzer Prize winner is here.

Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald

If the Sun-Times reckons theirs is good journalism, it will never publish a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph again.

Chicago has long been okay with mediocre. I’m not. I hope you aren’t either.


6 thoughts on “Fungible Fotographers Fired

  1. I’m a writer-photographer and most days a pretty good one.

    I don’t try to do both at once. Some days I create images with words. Some days I find the images with light. And no days do I work as a wedding photographer because those folks hone their skills over a lifetime. I took this photograph at my granddaughter’s wedding yesterday. It’s a good image for a landscape/fine art guy but a wedding pro would have done better.

  2. Actually, that is a pretty nice shot of your granddaughter…. nice bokeh. Good equipment used well.

    Folks that run the media today are no longer journalists. They are information officers for a propaganda machine. Their primary interest is pleasing their bosses, and they have no clue of what GOOD journalism (photographic or written) can do. They may even have no souls….which would explain why they have no idea how these things can in fact touch people’s souls. Perhaps that is a good thing, since it seriously diminishes their power..

    • I agree, it’s not a bad photo. A wedding pro would have smoothed the pose better and painted the light.

      I’m not sure we can blame journalists for pleasing their bosses although that’s a subjugant’s response to an abuser. It’s the same response so many have to a high handed employer today.

      We can blame the publishers who insist that mediocrity brings profit.


  3. I may be prejudiced, but I think you are a pretty good photographer. You did some nice work at granddaughter’s wedding.

  4. Dick’s last line is baited for a pithy response; however, seriousness rules this particular thread. My granddaughter does weddings and other ceremonial gigs and earns a nice chunk at it. She can *wash* out the facial blemishes, darken the temples and take 10 pounds off a chubby bridesmaid’s middle.

    — George

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