No more need for photographers – or journalists


Opinion from greenslade blog

I disagree with the statement in the title but the recurring photographer layoffs and many comments suggest this. This time a journalist expressed his quite similar opinion. I think he just challenged his fate because it is a dangerous thing to start prove your boss that everyone can be replaced with cheaper workforce – they might believe you and take it serious.

Roy Greenslade wrote the following about photographers of course not about himself and other journalist colleagues. I took his text and needed to replaced only a few words here and there (marked with [] for clarity) to make it obvious how much similarly expendable his job is….if he means seriously what he wrote. If decision makers consider his words and act accordingly then he might get fired just after the photographers to be come replaced with cheap labor. I hope someone will be there to show him the same level of sympathy he presents now – hopefully with his own words in my edition:

This move is no surprise. In fact, the surprise is that it hasn’t happened sooner. Relying on freelancers – and, of course, citizens with smartphones – to provide [text] is far cheaper than having [journalists] on staff.

Yes, there will be those who argue that the result, in terms of quality, will be cheap too. But I doubt that will be the case at local weekly newspaper level. Everyone can, and does, [write text] as a matter of rote nowadays.

No event occurs – fires, fetes, road accidents, cats up trees, whatever – without someone being on hand to [write some sentences about it]. In the real sense of the word, newspaper [writers] are therefore redundant.

I concede that standing outside court for ages to [write some lines] a defendant or witness may still require a professional (enter the experienced freelance). Otherwise, for the general run of the news diary, anyone can do it.

I am not, of course, without sympathy for the plight of those who are about to lose their livelihoods, especially those who are being forced to go without decent compensation.

But they must surely recognise that their fate is due to a combination of the digital revolution and newspaper economics. It does make sense.”

The original opinion published on a blog of Guardian has many comments pointing it out how erroneous this argument is and that Greenslade’s work should be replaced by some reader’s, they surely could meet the quality of this writing. I can only hope the author wrote it as a cynical ingition of arguments rather than a serious statement….or maybe he will announce in the next one that he leaves journalism himself too.

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