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pentaxpete 14 667 1 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2016 9:13AM
here in Essex there has been a big 'Cull' of Staff Photographers from many newspaper Groups with at least 13 professional photographers chasing work -- all made redundant before their retirement age so no Government Pension only redundancy money -- how long will that last ? Latest is Chief Photographer of the Yellow Advertiser Group after 24 years loyal service, 5 on Essex Chronicle, 7 on Basildon Evening Echo Group before that . I have had NO WORK for months and the newspapers all rely on Readers' photos sent in off their 'gadgets' -- how can you do Cricket for Sport with a Mobile Phone when you need a 400 or 500mm lens ?

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MikeA 15 1.3k England
17 Apr 2016 10:09AM
Welcome to the real world...............
sitan1 11 1.2k United Kingdom
17 Apr 2016 10:36AM
LOL now that's what im talking about

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ttiger8 4 159 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2016 11:30AM
Unfortunately fewer people are buying or reading newspapers and those that are still going are struggling to survive. When I lived in South Essex we had a Yellow Advertiser delivered every week. After moving to North Essex, occasionally received one that was only a few pages but have not had one delivered for at least 10 years. I expect that I am like many others that use the internet and get the news for free.

Wouldn't surprise me if printed tabloids disappear totally in the future. Redundancy is tough. Been through it 3 times myself. First time I felt my world had fallen apart but you survive on what resources you have. Second time it was a case of what the heck. I signed up with a temping agency which provided work and an income. I also phoned companies direct asking if they had any vacancies and was back in full time work within two weeks.

Third time I thought stuff it. Signed up with temping agency again and also became self employed doing something I wanted to do. The temping work provided an income while I was getting established and also provided experience in different skills. In a strange turn of events, I enjoyed temping at one company and ended up working there full time and have been there for over 4 years now.

Originally I worked in the insurance industry being office based. Now I work in the manufacturing industry. I would also add that I am 55 years old so age is no barrier where work is concerned. If it looks like things are not working out with what you are presently doing, don't just sit there and accept the inevitable. Its time to branch out and explore other avenues even if it means a total change of industry.
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
17 Apr 2016 6:12PM
Some press photographers have said the rise of the cameraphone is the reason they've lost their jobs. Readers instantly sending free on the spot images.

I think there's more to it. Pete, as you point out, you can't cover a cricket match with a cameraphone unless it's like the one sitan posted Grin The papers can't afford to pay the proper photographers to cover the games though. Circulation has nosedived and nobody is doing well charging for newspaper access online. More and more web users are adblocking as well. Many local papers can't afford to pay the photographers for better photos.
PRC 5 219 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2016 7:25PM
I think Chris is right. Our local weekly paper is owned by a group of papers and has now lost its local editor; it's all done from the city's daily paper office. That's resulted in a significant reduction in quality: articles appear in the same edition more than once, too many inaccuracies and typos, there's less local news and more news from outside the area and there's far too much syndicated content. I've heard that this newspaper group has reduced its photographers significantly. It's all part of a cost-cutting downward spiral leading to a reduction in quality and subsequent reduction in circulation. It's hard to see how that can be reversed.
JJGEE 14 7.6k 18 England
18 Apr 2016 7:24AM

Quote: It's hard to see how that can be reversed.

It probably cannot be Sad

collywobles 15 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2016 9:05AM
Its called progress
thewilliam 11 6.1k
18 Apr 2016 10:24AM
I was made redundant in my late forties, nearly 20 years ago because I'd become something of an anachronism: an engineering Senior Lecturer in a technical college. I was one of a veritable army because colleges throughout the country were drastically trimming or closing their engineering departments.

Now it's the turn of press photographers!

Job hunting came to nought, so I decided that if I couldn't find a job, I'd have to make a job and set up a business.
cfreeman 15 736 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2016 11:03AM
I have seen stories about news papers in the states doing the very same thing.

You are lucky if you stay employed without a redundacy situation these days - In the industrial North it's been tough for may years - things really went down hill from 1979. There was a boost with the IT tech support call centres before that was outsourced to India. Sorry to hear you are in the redundancy frame but many of us have been there done that - its hard to stay positive especially when you have find out about zero hours contracts and how they count avon rep as a job.
18 Apr 2016 11:46AM
Sorry to hear that you are having a hard time, but the change is not about photographers, it's about newpapers which are gradually becoming history. The printed paper is after all only a means of delivering information (and rather an unecological one at that). There are now faster, cheaper and less resource hungry ways to deliver news. I haven't bought a newspaper in 20 years and the free ones, here in France at least, are rubbish, so I dont read them either.

As for the visual content of news, both the telly and Internet support video and that is what most people expect to see when they watch news.
JackAllTog Plus
10 5.7k 58 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2016 1:18PM
We will always have changes in our lifetimes, We now have less blacksmiths, soldiers, coal miners. farmers, checkout workers etc.
We have more programmers, video editors, customer service representatives, telesales workers etc.

School trains you for many roles, and adult life should also train you for a couple of potential career changes.

I've so far been a Mechanic, Electronic Engineer, Student, Programmer, Consultant, Manager, and may yet need a few more - my pipe dream was photographer. I think its a rare person nowadays that get to have just one career all their life.

I think you always need to be prepared to try something else.

ericfaragh 16 149 5 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2016 10:17AM
The news used to be gathered by reporters, increasingly there’s reliance upon the public to perform this role. It also used to be written-up by reporters, but increasingly this is becoming little more than verbatim quotes from witnesses with slight commentary or contextual explanation of background, whether historical or social. Much of the news has become extremely repetitive because the content is little more than the bare facts; the material which used to be added by reporters on the “why and who” element of newsworthy events is fast disappearing because the people who generated that “added value” are also disappearing, as is the ordering and shaping role of editors, who employed an important skill by casting a more objective eye over content before its release to the general public.

It is hardly surprising, given all this, that the role of the professional press photographer is also coming under pressure. It would seem that the place of reporting and recording current events will eventually largely fall to those who happen to be present at such events. The exceptions will be numerous, of course, with planned and scheduled press conferences not being currently open to the public. And it would appear that such renowned news organs as the BBC may be able to continue for some indefinite time to come without entirely surrendering (seeing as they have funding from the public purse). But even such organs have come to realise that to hold authority with the public, they must continue to make an effort to both get and disseminate the news first. The news was always delivered as swiftly as possible, otherwise it ceased to be news, but with the web the speed of delivery has increased and consequently puts further pressure on quality, although the even greater immediacy gives a heightened sense of drama to unfolding events.

This would seem to suggest that in the future, news is no longer to have much in the way of formal order or literary quality or depth, nor will accompanying pictures be so likely to have much technical or artistic merit or iconic worth (although there will be many honourable exceptions, seeing as all professionals were amateurs at some point).

Whether all this is a good or bad thing depends on your point of view. There’s much to be said for and against it. However, the same holds true for the former state of things. It may well be that there will come a reaction to the changes and more online quality news products will emerge in the fullness of time. The great difficulty for such online services appears to be income generation: how can they sell their product on a scale which can support quality when the core facts are freely available elsewhere, and given that speed of delivery is essential?
lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
19 Apr 2016 11:39AM
What most people don't recognize (or care about) is that a great deal of the 'news' you get today is simply PR supplied bumpf and propaganda. News gathering costs money and if people are not willing to pay then it can't be gathered. Being in the business I have watched the PRs moving in in real force since the turn of the century.

Does it matter? Not to the majority for whom, naturally, cost is more important than quality. In the longer term, now that our courts and council meetings are not properly reported, it will enable greater corruption on the part of police, councillors and officials. We are seeing that already but it will get much worse. The English way is not to address these problems but to pretend it doesn't happen here. Hence our worldwide reputation for hypocrisy. And much easier, without any press scrutiny, to get away with it.

Meanwhile, foreign news is less and less covered by British correspondents and photographers from British newspapers from a British perspective, more and more it is supplied by AP and AFP, American and French respectively with PA covering the UK. We do get excellent coverage from the BBC giving us the metropolitan elite's right on view of the world, though there'll be less of that if they go subscription.

So we lose the skills of people like pentaxpete and others in other professions mentioned here. Does that matter? Not in the short term, our default thinking mode. But in the long term, it leaves us deskilled and relying on foreigners for our everyday lives to work. Hence without the French we cannot build a power station, manage our water or waste collection. Whether we have a steel industry or not is a matter for an Indian company. The car manufacturing we have provides jobs (thank you Germany and Japan) but the profits go abroad.

So, while I sympathize with people losing their jobs and with them their skills, it's hard not to quote Oscar Wilde, that we know the price of everything but the value of nothing.
thewilliam 11 6.1k
19 Apr 2016 12:04PM
David, just after the Great Exhibition of 1851, Prince Albert, who was particularly patriotic towards his adopted country, noticed that Britain had been beaten in just about every field.

It was Prince Albert's idea that the profits of the Exhibition would be used to improve skills training in the UK. Imperial College London was founded, together with the first Technical Colleges in the industrial towns. City and Guilds was reformed to oversee craft qualifications.

But successive governments seem to have done their best to destroy the UK training infrastructure. The NVQ system was set up to redefine "qualified" and thereby cut costs rather than improve the quality of the training. A generation ago, engineering departments in the technical colleges were pruned or closed and the most experienced, expensive staff given early retirement or redundancy. "Media" departments were expanded so we now have a veritable army of under or unemployed media graduates and a severe shortage of trained and qualified engineers.

What would Prince Albert say about our present fiasco if he came back, except perhaps "plus ça change"?


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