Even More Photo Staff Fired at Thomson Reuters

Even More Photo Staff Fired at Thomson Reuters

Layoffs of photo staff continue at one of the world's largest news companies. Thomas Szlukovenyi, the Picture Editor for North America, and Peter Jones, the chief photographer for Canada and the Canada and North American Sports Photo Editor, were axed this week in a move of continued downsizing at Thomson Reuters that gained significant media attention during its first round of major layoffs that began last summer. There is speculation that Europe and the Middle East East could be next.

In a staff memo yesterday, Editor In Chief for Reuters, Steve Adler, said that more layoffs are coming. This, despite the fact that Reuters has increased their budget for the next year by 1%. So what does this mean? It means that Reuters doesn't believe a photo staff is as integral as it once was, and that they are shifting their money into something they feel will be more lucrative - specifically their television operation and their IPhone and IPad app as means of delivering the news.

More importantly what does this signal for the future of photojournalists? What do you think?

Via NPPA via Reddit

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David Justice's picture

Listen. Industries change. We do not want to accept it, but social media and iphones take great pictures that are good enough for news stories now. Its cheaper to take photos from people on twitter and instagram than it is to pay a professional to go out there.

Of course the industry won't die totally, but it will be shrinking. And honestly, it's evolution. Its a truth that hurts.

james johnson's picture

I completely agree that the industry is changing and there is no going back on it. However, I lament the de-valuing of photography in the news media, a move that I personally think is foolish in the long term. Professional photographers (either on staff or freelance) give value to photographs that a random person with a camera can't.

Sure it saves money to just use smart phone photos from some anonymous or untrained source, but that is just picture taking. It is not necessarily photo-journalism in that it probably won't tell the story or live up to journalistic ethics.

Just look at what happened with he dailies in Chicago. One kept a photographic staff that could use images to their fullest extent and the other suffered greatly. Go to the suntimes darktimes tumblr and click on "random post". It becomes obvious why the money is an investment, not an expenditure.

David Vaughn's picture

Um, I don't really think that's exactly what's happening. These news outlets are more likely just going to be using more freelancers, wire services, and photos from reporters (which...sucks...but it's happening).

Most reputable news organizations are probably not going to be downsizing so that they can rely on citizen journalism.

And if they do, god help the journalism profession.

Ralph Berrett's picture

To be blunt this more an after effect than a cause. To use the Chicago Sun Times as example. They cut their photo staff then told reporters that they would be using iPhones and iPads to take photos and video in their place.

What most people do not realize is that the Sun Times got caught monkeying wither ABC (circulation) numbers. ABC is like the Neilson ratings. They inflated the circulation numbers so they could have a higher ad rate especially their nation ads.

When they got caught their ad rates that they were charging advertisers got drastically cut especially their national advertisers which meant they had to drastically cut staff to cover the short fall.

As the saying goes follow money. By cutting the staff they save a lot of money fast. The sun times has been hired some new photographers quietly because iPhone and iPads were a band aid that did not work.

Ralph Berrett's picture

A long time ago at a newspaper I shot for, I was given a solid piece of advice when it came to working for any publicly traded company. Watch how the stock is doing and read its financial reports. That piece of advice allowed me to work an extra 5 years in the newspaper industry.

For the last two years Thomas Reuters has lost 283 million dollars. Reuters is not just a news agency but an information service worth 3 billion dollars. They just shut down a major part of the business which was suppling information terminals to european financial markets due to accounting issues.

Reuters as a company is cutting 4,500 jobs which means about 111 editorial jobs will be lost. They have cut 55 editorial jobs so far.

To be blunt iPhones, the changing world of photojournalism had little to do with these cuts it was the parent company losing 283 million dollars. The photo staff is part of the 4,500 job layoffs. That works out to less than 3% of the company's layoffs.

M L's picture

Hey Chris Knight learn the difference between fired and laid off. I hate the Fstopper headlines they are almost as bad as the national enquirer...