About the Bright One...

About the Bright One...

I have tried to be patient with the Sun Times, but they are testing my loyalty.  Chicago is that rare town where news stands account for some sales, and commuters love the compact format for the train and bus.  SO…pictures sell papers.  How could they fire every single photo-journalist? People with 44 years of devotion, a Pulitzer winner?  What a lack of respect for this department, and for the readers. Strategic cuts were not enough? A bloodbath was required? I get that some stories can be served with an I Phone picture.  But those magical moments that bring the words to life- a hometown sports moment,  the aftermath of a crime, an intimate shot of a neighborhood by knowing eyes…lost, or at least diluted. Sad.

I get my paper rolled and dropped, but I still believe every carefully composed shot augments and amplifies the stories in print.  The nonsense they spouted about “creating more video content” because readers demand it was bull.  The same photographers are well able to create videos with the same cameras they sling.  What they mean is that they can sell commercials to embed before a video plays.  Note to the Sun Times:  we hate these. If you ask for 30 seconds to push laundry detergent, you had better have kick ass, exclusive content to dazzle us. So far…no.

Another note: Didn’t you just dump your video news recap with Carol Marin?  I liked that.  I like her. It was video content, delivered to my inbox. Did you stop doing it because you would have no staff to make the video after the purge? Carol could take the I Phone tutorial you are offering and do a selfie-vid.  The management is talking out of both sides of its…ass. And it stinks.

I am also hating the S/T a little bit because though there are no photographers on staff, they still have Splash with Jenny the playmate and a whole rotting mess of nothingness under the SPLASH banner.

Bonus points: The Splashers tweeted a picture of themselves at a Champagne reception just as the photographers’ building cards were being demagnetized. It was a Sun Times tweet.   Talk about tone deaf. Or dumb. Or both.

Last of all, I am hating the Sun Times a little because they have switched the WEEKEND section to AGENDA, a Reader production. The information is swell, but the tone is snarky.  Life is snarky enough without the “too cool for the room” tone in movie and restaurant reviews.  Go away.

What I do love about the Sun Times:  Steinberg, Brown, Marin, Sweet, Washington, Weiss, Roeper, Mitchell (sometimes), Connor, and for fluff- Zwecker.  I’m sure I have omitted someone, but the point is that there is flesh and blood on those pages.  These people navigate issues along with us,  We trust them, disagree/agree with them… believe we know them.  We start the day with them.

And those sports columnists…ah, never mind.  I know sports sell papers, but I feel virtuous enough watching games with my men, I do not dissect the local franchises.  Sorry, Rick T- I think you turn a grand phrase…I just don’t need to overthink sports.   (Now that the pictures will come from Getty, I think the Trib will trump Sun Times sports coverage. Especially in sports, the pictures tell the story.)   God knows we all miss Roger Ebert. He would be apoplectic about the callous treatment of photographers: he loved the intersection of pictures with words.

This mess puts newspaper lovers in a terrible conundrum.  If we withhold affection and cancel- we eventually will lose those we love.

The morale at the Bright One must be desperate.  I honor all who scribble on with heavy hearts and foreboding. We appreciate your service, and we share your discomfort and pain. We are in awe of your disciplined response- sad yet dedicated to the newspaper you have toiled for. I expect that there will be no Champagne receptions in your immediate future.  An elegiac moment at the Billy Goat perhaps.  Misery loves company.  Just not the Wrapports Company.


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