Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off All Its Full-Time Photographers (nytimes)
This Might Not Work: Chicago Sun Times Fires All Its Photographers To Replace Them With iPhones (forbes.com)
According to a leak from Sun-Times Robert Feder, Sun-Times' new strategy seems to rely on having their journalist shoot video and photos with their iPhones.
I work in a news organization and I've tried that: covering a story myself with a notepad and a camera (not iPhone). It's not easy, and it defeats of the purpose of news reporting.
When you're multitasking, writing notes and taking photos, you will be distracted. When you see a photo opportunity, your notepad is in hand. When you hear a newsworthy quote, your iPhone or camera is in hand. So you can switch your tools. Try switching them countless of times. You are going to miss capturing some crucial info or shot.
So all that multitasking basically will just result in sub-par news reporting. Don't believe me? Just try it yourself, it's that simple. Go out and get a story with pictures by yourself.
By the way, you're not going to get many good photos at night with your camera phone.
Future of photo journalists at news organizations
The future is not bright.
If I'm in charge, I probably would do the same and fire the photographers.
I would run a big blurb everyday on the papers asking people to submit their photos for print, and I'll pay them.
It's not too expensive. But more important, those photos are going to be timely. If there's an explosion at some place, someone there will bound to take a photo. That photo is going to worth more than the one the photo-journalist that minutes or hours later. You cannot go back in time to take photos.
News organizations can just hire photographers based on where they are located. Call upon them to cover stories that happen instantly.