This is a sad, sad week for photojournalism.
The Rocky Mountain News is closing its doors. Among the many tragedies is the fact that 19 photojournalists lose their jobs tomorrow. Members of the photo staff there have won three Pulitzer Prizes since 2000. But the saddest part is that a great newspaper is dying.
The Hartford Courant, another one of the country’s best photo papers, laid off three photographers. Their newsroom staff is now 135 people, which is half the number of newsroom employees it had in January 2008. The Courant is owned by The Tribune Co. in Chicago, which is operating under bankruptcy protection.
And the San Antonio Express-News laid off 75 staffers, including six photo staffers. Out of a job is Director of Photography Marc Kawanishi, who was just hired in September 2008.
The Providence Journal also made cuts this week. More newspapers are expected to make announcements soon.
As secretary of the NPPA, I’d like to say we’ll help retrain our members for the next phase of their careers. As an educator, I’d like to say we’ll prepare our students for the new media landscape. I’d like to say that if we all pull together, we’ll make it through.
Today I just don’t have enough courage to say any of those things. All I can do is renew my subscription to my local paper, The State (which is expected to announce layoffs any day.)
My heart goes out to all my friends and colleagues.