More photojournalist job cuts

JPOne of the UK’s biggest publishers has announced it will cut all photography staff from a group of its regional newspapers, continuing a global media trend that has seen traditional photojournalist roles drying up.

Johnston Press, which publishes some 300 weekly newspapers and 18 dailies throughout the UK, will be making its entire photography staff redundant throughout its Midlands publishing unit, reports Hold the Front Page.

“All photographers will soon be leaving the company’s Midlands publishing unit, most taking an enhanced voluntary redundancy package, with a small number facing compulsory redundancy,” the report reads.

Following a review of the way in which “photographic content is generated”, the publisher plans to rely more heavily on reader-submitted images, reporters taking photos with their smartphones, and hiring freelance photographers.

Commenting on the news, The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade says the cost-cutting move comes as no surprise, and he argues against the suggestion it will result in poorer quality imagery within the newspapers.

“I doubt that will be the case at local weekly newspaper level,” he writes. “Everyone can, and does, take photographs as a matter of rote nowadays.”

Similar photography job cuts have been happening across the globe in recent years, including within New Zealand’s own publishing houses.

Photojournalism comp call for entries

The world’s most prestigious photojournalism competition is now calling for entries towards its 69th annual awards program.

Picture of the year International (POYi), a program run by the Missouri School of Journalism, is now accepting submissions from photographers internationally in its search for the best documentary photography of 2011.

The program comprises 48 different categories, viewable here, focusing on areas of photojournalism, documentary photography, visual editing and journalistic multimedia.

The top nine awards, including Freelance Photographer of the year, Newspaper Photographer of the year and Sports Photographer of the year, all carry a US$1000 prize.

New to this year’s program is the Impact 2011 special category for images covering the Japan earthquake and uprisings in the Middle East; there is also a new Sports Division with its own independent judging panel.

Submissions can be made online with an entry fee of US$50 and must be uploaded before December January 12, 2012.

Images do not need to have been published nor does the photographer have to be a professional, but all images must have been either taken or published for the first time between January 1 and December 31, 2011, with no digital manipulation allowed.

Judging will commence in early February with winners announced on the 29th.