News photography quality drops when non-professionals are used - Quelle Surprise!!

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Richard
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#41
The loss in quality of written and pictorial journalism has contributed significantly to the continued drop in readership. The drop in income is in the most due to a drop in advertising revenue.
Circulation, the number of copies sold, drives all revenues. And newspapers were losing massive sales to modern media long before they laid off their photographers. Digital media is just so much better at everything most readers value. As has often been said, if digital media had arrived first, print media would never have been invented. If you speak to a group of people under 30, some of them will never have purchased a newspaper; under 20, most of them. Printed media is basically dead for the mainstream.

But the question of quality journalism and photography is different. That's just about money and the 'free' ethos of the internet has thwarted the best efforts of the biggest conventional media companies to find a business model capable of generating enough cash to make it pay. I used to think that it would only be a few years before the buying public woke up to the fact that quality costs and we'd all be happy to start paying for good content, but that hasn't happened in any significant way.

Meanwhile, the new social media giants are making a mint but their business model is not just a bit different, it's radically new. My guess is, if there is indeed a market for quality content that consumers really value - and there surely is - then this is where we'll get it in some shape or form.
 
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Fraser White
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#42
@HoppyUK

You clearly feel that there is a market for a quality production which I almost certainly do.

Probably not a daily or even a weekly but a product with outstanding image content and good journalism I think there is.

Maybe I am a dinosaur and still prefer a printed read than a monitor read and I have rose tinted spectacles?
 
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#43
@HoppyUK

You clearly feel that there is a market for a quality production which I almost certainly do.

Probably not a daily or even a weekly but a product with outstanding image content and good journalism I think there is.

Maybe I am a dinosaur and still prefer a printed read than a monitor read and I have rose tinted spectacles?
Yes, no question there's consumer demand out there for quality content and, I believe, a willingness to pay a reasonable amount for it. Some still exists in magazine form like National Geographic with its top-drawer articles and photography, and there are a few others too, but they're dying in printed media form - print and paper is just so expensive and slow. It doesn't stand a chance against digital TBH and dinosaurs like you and me won't save it.

The bigger question is not about print vs on-screen though, that battle is over, but how much we are prepared to pay for quality, and how much hassle we are prepared to put up with signing on and buying a subscription etc etc, when there's an 'acceptable' free alternative available at a mouse-click. In other words, how to make enough money from the internet to pay for quality content.

My hope was that conventional media businesses (eg like my old company) could develop a form of micro-payments that would automatically debit your phone bill or whatever with a few coppers every time you clicked on a pay-site. We'd not think twice about that as it'd be so easy and cheap, any more than we nowadays don't hesitate to send a txt, but when multiplied on a global scale that would generate serious cash to pay for properly qualified professional staff. I still think that would work, but I can't see it happening now, not quite like that anyway.

The problem for print media is that the internet is basically free; and the problem for the internet IMHO is also that it is both free to use and free for anyone to publish anything they like - yet very hard to actually make any money from. The result is not only crap, but huge, vast qualities of (free!) crap with a few nuggets of gold hidden away somewhere - needle in a haystack.

The successful new media publisher will find a way through that and deliver quality stuff that's both easy to access and easy to pay for. I'm pretty sure we'd be prepared to pay a reasonable cost for the right product and given that I believe both the supply and demand are there, someone will find the key eventually. It may take a while though, because the answer is not in the technology (we already have plenty of that) but in changing consumer attitudes. That's a slow old business.
 
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#44
Hi Hoppy,

I've just subscribed to a printed magazine based in Europe about film photography so I'm certainly prepared to pay for quality publishing.

The decline in the pro tog market for news & journalism is sad but inevitable but there is still a market for the best out there (I hope anyway) and hopeful a small revival like vinyl and film may occur.
 

Nod

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#45
Dropped my Nat Geo subscription when it became a glossy ad for Murdoch. Still getting "please come back" junk mail a couple of years later.
 
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#46
I'm afraid it's all part of the general decline in education and lowering of expectations. I doubt most "graduates" ( excuse my laughter ) in the UK would be able to recognise quality in many areas never mind those who are unable or unwilling to participate even in our modest expectations in higher education. It's pretty plainly demonstrated in what we read, buy, watch, and elect and it isn't a pretty picture.

I don't know about elsewhere but the US is the same if the latest batch of instagram policitans is any indicator. Most of the public want prejudice or glitz over substance and show a total inability to recognise coherent reasoning, intellectual understanding or to have any grasp of what true leadership entails.
 
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#47
One of my work titles has just been released in the USA and is on the stands at airports across the globe..... it is bucking the trend. Why? We sat down and discussed it, because we are a small knit team, total production team numbers 6, that is all the contributors, editing and advertising staff en bloc! A small, tight knit team working in cohesion. Why is this magazine succeeding against the plethora of internet pages on the same subject? And when I say succeeding, it has people in the business telephoning (yes telephoning, not emailing) and asking how they go about taking out advertising space. There are NO advertising sales people whatsoever. Just the owner/publisher who handles the advertising contracts.

It was a very simple pretext. If you cannot compete with the internet, don't. Industry show reports, once the staple of any publication - when the new model is unveiled, there are 50 iPhones ready to record the moment and plaster it all over Facespace, Instachat and Twitroom. By the time the magazine comes out it is ancient history. So you offer quality content, in depth that the internet can't compete with. Instead of 1.5 or 2 page features that can be read on a screen - 10 page features on interesting stories from behind the scenes. This approach has seen off the might of the likes of IPC, REED and Time Warner titles that were competing....they have gone, not dwindled, simply gone, been pulled, wound up and buried yet our title is flying off the shelves and the print run is being increased month on month.

The simple equation that makes it work? It is something that accountants that run the big corporations simply cannot understand.

You put the reader first, not the profit line. Look after the reader, the money follows - it has been proven to be correct.
 
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Richard
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#48
One of my work titles has just been released in the USA and is on the stands at airports across the globe..... it is bucking the trend. Why? We sat down and discussed it, because we are a small knit team, total production team numbers 6, that is all the contributors, editing and advertising staff en bloc! A small, tight knit team working in cohesion. Why is this magazine succeeding against the plethora of internet pages on the same subject? And when I say succeeding, it has people in the business telephoning (yes telephoning, not emailing) and asking how they go about taking out advertising space. There are NO advertising sales people whatsoever. Just the owner/publisher who handles the advertising contracts.

It was a very simple pretext. If you cannot compete with the internet, don't. Industry show reports, once the staple of any publication - when the new model is unveiled, there are 50 iPhones ready to record the moment and plaster it all over Facespace, Instachat and Twitroom. By the time the magazine comes out it is ancient history. So you offer quality content, in depth that the internet can't compete with. Instead of 1.5 or 2 page features that can be read on a screen - 10 page features on interesting stories from behind the scenes. This approach has seen off the might of the likes of IPC, REED and Time Warner titles that were competing....they have gone, not dwindled, simply gone, been pulled, wound up and buried yet our title is flying off the shelves and the print run is being increased month on month.

The simple equation that makes it work? It is something that accountants that run the big corporations simply cannot understand.

You put the reader first, not the profit line. Look after the reader, the money follows - it has been proven to be correct.
Is that Back Street Heroes magazine Simon?
 
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Fraser White
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#50
One of my work titles has just been released in the USA and is on the stands at airports across the globe..... it is bucking the trend. Why? We sat down and discussed it, because we are a small knit team, total production team numbers 6, that is all the contributors, editing and advertising staff en bloc! A small, tight knit team working in cohesion. Why is this magazine succeeding against the plethora of internet pages on the same subject? And when I say succeeding, it has people in the business telephoning (yes telephoning, not emailing) and asking how they go about taking out advertising space. There are NO advertising sales people whatsoever. Just the owner/publisher who handles the advertising contracts.

It was a very simple pretext. If you cannot compete with the internet, don't. Industry show reports, once the staple of any publication - when the new model is unveiled, there are 50 iPhones ready to record the moment and plaster it all over Facespace, Instachat and Twitroom. By the time the magazine comes out it is ancient history. So you offer quality content, in depth that the internet can't compete with. Instead of 1.5 or 2 page features that can be read on a screen - 10 page features on interesting stories from behind the scenes. This approach has seen off the might of the likes of IPC, REED and Time Warner titles that were competing....they have gone, not dwindled, simply gone, been pulled, wound up and buried yet our title is flying off the shelves and the print run is being increased month on month.

The simple equation that makes it work? It is something that accountants that run the big corporations simply cannot understand.

You put the reader first, not the profit line. Look after the reader, the money follows - it has been proven to be correct.
Well done to you & the team Simon! Always good to hear a success story!
 
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#51
I would agree with this generally but occasionally you get that one off photo by an amateur/ someone with a cell phone that catches something that was never expected, a professional is very unlikely to be there in this situation so the amateur rules ! Sometimes it's not the quality of the photo but the fact that someone actually got it ! It explains the lady who took a photo on her cell phone of the Royals and has so far earned £40,000 from it or all the other video footage you see of unexpected news events.
A one off snapshot by someone in ‘the right place at the right time’ doesn’t compare with the thousands of brilliant news photographs that shape our history.
Well Phil, of course you are right, a one-off snapshot does not compare to a photo taken by a trained photojournalist, but I have to agree with Badger. A one-off snapshot by a non-photographer whom as Badger puts it, "actually got it!" is better than none because the photojournalist wasn't there.
 

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#52
I think the problem is that not many people buy newspapers at all, so they try to economise by using cheap or free images. But a few do care about photojournalism, like The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/news-photography
https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/ten-best-photographs-of-the-day
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/series/twenty-photographs-of-the-week
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/series/guardian-picture-essay
https://www.theguardian.com/inpictures

This is perhaps the closest thing we get in popular media to the sort of work that was printed in Picture Post and Life.

This, Friend of ours took a picture of a spec savers car crashed into a post in Liverpool, she uploaded it to FB and it was published albeit cropped in a couple of news rags, she got nothing as once uploaded to FB I assume its a free for all?
 
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#54
Well Phil, of course you are right, a one-off snapshot does not compare to a photo taken by a trained photojournalist, but I have to agree with Badger. A one-off snapshot by a non-photographer whom as Badger puts it, "actually got it!" is better than none because the photojournalist wasn't there.
I’m not denigrating the photo in question.
My point was that was one image, there can’t be a dozen equivalent images, but as I posted there are thousands of brilliant news images shot by pros. One lucky shot does not create a ‘truth’.
 
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#56
Are you sure? Is there an official line on this on FB or TandC's or are you knowledgeable on Copy Law? very interested in this...cheers
As sure as I can be without being a copyright lawyer.
There's a difference between "Sharing" and downloading and re-publishing...I think FB are quite clear that copyright remains with the original holder.

As an aside, did your friend ask for anything when she discovered her pic had been published.
 

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#59
As sure as I can be without being a copyright lawyer.
There's a difference between "Sharing" and downloading and re-publishing...I think FB are quite clear that copyright remains with the original holder.

As an aside, did your friend ask for anything when she discovered her pic had been published.
She hasn't Graham, as like myself she thought it was public domain once uploaded to FB unless a copyright mark was on it to indicate it was subject to copyright. Ive had a look about and can see there are some applicable guidelines. Thanks for you reply, appreciated.
 
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#60
She hasn't Graham, as like myself she thought it was public domain once uploaded to FB unless a copyright mark was on it to indicate it was subject to copyright. Ive had a look about and can see there are some applicable guidelines. Thanks for you reply, appreciated.
A ‘copyright mark’ has no legal basis whatsoever. The first building block of copyright knowledge is that ‘copyright exists automatically’.
So your work is protected by law until you enter into a contract to alter that.

If your friend has had no contact at all with whoever used her image, she could feasibly still get paid.
 
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Jamesev
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#61
I'm afraid it's all part of the general decline in education and lowering of expectations. I doubt most "graduates" ( excuse my laughter ) in the UK would be able to recognise quality in many areas never mind those who are unable or unwilling to participate even in our modest expectations in higher education. It's pretty plainly demonstrated in what we read, buy, watch, and elect and it isn't a pretty picture.

I don't know about elsewhere but the US is the same if the latest batch of instagram policitans is any indicator. Most of the public want prejudice or glitz over substance and show a total inability to recognise coherent reasoning, intellectual understanding or to have any grasp of what true leadership entails.
I was going to say something along these lines. The advent of the generation that produced the most photographs (with mobile phones) in some respects diminishes the ability to recognise a good image when its presented, due to the perceived good photo being the one with the most likes (and this is not due to its quality more how much of an "influencer" the photoer is).

On top of that many journalism stories are read via online outlets who have to plaster ad images and clickbait images all over a story so the image that has a vague relation to the actual story being told is totally swamped.

So in effect the amount of readers actually having the eye to recognise a great photo, unless its in what could be termed a traditional reportage piece, is becoming more and more scarce.
 
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