The Dayton Daily News Director of Photography, Larry Price, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist “surrendered” his job in protest of being asked by management to lay off up to half the newspaper’s photographers
Photo by Larry Price (1981 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Spot News)
“This is a trend in media and newspapers in general. It really is
eroding the foundations of the industry, of what newspapers and media
bring to the table: to keep democracy on track. It’s so important. Maybe
I’m naive but the bottom line simply is not as important as what
information can convey to people in helping them make decisions,” Price
[source: Dayton BizBlogs]
There has always been a weird tension in my mind regarding the “business” of news. Not to get too philosophical, but high-quality independent news organizations are essential for a good democracy — from local to national — and I don’t think that’s hyperbole. Suppression of information and a free press leads to cronyism amongst the elite and resentment amongst the masses.
On the other hand, a business cannot ignore the realities of today’s environment. If the end reader can’t tell the difference between a good photo and a great photo, why not pull images off the wire instead of staffing an entire photo department? What not try to maximize profits by cutting expenses?
The unfortunate thing is that we won’t know the answer to these questions until democracy suffers badly, and forces us to look at the issue in a more pointed way.
Kudos to Larry for taking a stand. I hope that he finds a new job worthy of his talents and ethics.