CNN Lays Off Photographers, Editors

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CNN swings the ax on photography jobs

It may be cold comfort to photojournalists to see some editors also get the ax at CNN, but the bottom line means there are fewer jobs in photography today.

Layered in HR-groomed executive double-speak, CNN claims in an announcement issued earlier this month to take into consideration the use of “…user-generated content and social media.” Most likely that means you’ll be seeing more cell phone photos, microstock, and Twitpic photography.

The announcement also cited the availability of improved consumer cameras as one of the reasons for cutting loose their pro talent.

“Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible.”

CNN also mentioned their growing reliance on iReport, which has been criticized in the past for not paying for the photos they use.

The timing of the announcement, immediately after Employee Appreciation Week, only seems to rub in the irony of putting the “…right resources in the right places…”

As many as 12 photojournalists were let go from offices in Miami, New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. Several media editors were let go in Atlanta, apparently to be replaced by workers in other areas working remotely. Right now there is no indication if any of the replacements are outsource contract labor or employees in other offices.

Even though CNN says the review has been going on for three years, the news came as a shock to many staffers. And even though CNN discovered that, “Small cameras are now high broadcast quality.” That certainly wasn’t true three years ago.