John H. White was only the most celebrated photographer to be given the boot at the Chicago Sun-Times. The others: his students, comrades, and long-time work mates, many of whom have helped shape the landscape of professional photojournalism, are gone.
In their stead, Chicago Sun-Times place iPhone-wielding newbies- not, of course, without a crash-course on how to point and shoot. The new programme is called 'iPhone Photography Basics'. News agencies have had a hard time of it, but not hard enough to warrant the trade of professionals for untrained plebs. That is, unless they don't mind dialling quality down a notch or three.
In most industries, the importance of quality is superseded by quantity and thrift. I've felt it here, too; several times in the last year, media agencies with good intentions offer experienced photographers 'exposure' rather than cashy money for event coverage. For years, I've covered events for various organisations. Never once have I opted for exposure. It is a waste of time- unless those in attendance are hiring agencies. Or the Queen.
I've turned down every one with: "If you are looking for good coverage, you need to be willing to pay for it."
If this issue touches a chord, PetaPixel have a great summary of the times entitled: How the Internet Killed Photojournalism.
Thanks, Daring Fireball.