Press photographers: Not quite in the picture

*Six Mirror photographers must depart, leaving just four behind*
*By Roy Greenslade/Guardian*
Trinity Mirror has decided that six of the 10 staff photographers who take
pictures for the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror must go.

Three photographers have volunteered for redundancy. The other three are
locked into negotiations or, to use the company's jargon, "have been
notified of the risk of [mandatory] redundancy." It is unlikely that they
can be redeployed in another capacity.
It will mean that in future the two Mirror titles will have two staff
photographers each. Trinity's other national title, The People, has been
operating without a staff photographer for two years.
The decision to reduce the photographic staff, announced yesterday, is part
of the overall redundancy programme, announced in June, that is expected to
result in 200 editorial job losses (140 full-time plus 60 casuals).
To put this specific cut in context, it is clear that Trinity - as with
other newspaper publishers - believe that they can be served as well by
calling on the services of freelance photographers. Obviously, it is also
much cheaper to hire photographers on a daily basis.
There are, however, some risks down the line. Picture desks can still draw
on a pool of experienced snappers who work as freelances. What happens when
they retire?
I know there are people who believe that taking pictures is easy (and I
agree that technology has made it far easier than once was the case). But
there is more to taking a picture than pressing a button.
I sincerely hope we are not going to lose the skills that have made British
newspaper photographers among the best in the world.

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