One 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.