CHICAGO, IL (June 6, 2013) – Some of the photographers laid off last week from the Chicago Sun-Times were joined early this morning by supporters and friends and fellow members of the Chicago Newspaper Guild as they picketed outside the Sun-Times building during a "Save The Photographers" rally.
The photographers, who have joined together under the informal group name STM28 (for the 28 Sun-Times Media visual journalists who lost their jobs) posted on Facebook and other social media sites an open invitation to join in today's march.
"The Guild is keeping pressure on the company to bring back all of its professional photojournalists, both in and out of the union, and your voice at this event will help amplify that message," a message posted on their Facebook page last night said.
The photo staff was told by the paper's editor last week that reporters and other newsroom employees would be providing the newspaper's visual report from now on using their iPhones and video cameras. Other photographs would be provided by freelancers, Jim Kirk said. Kirk said the move was based on the Sun-Times moving in a new direction, toward online and multimedia, where the veteran still photographers were no longer needed.
Some early photographs from this morning's picket (below) were sent to News Photographer magazine by one of the laid-off photojournalists, Rob Hart.
Hart says the photojournalists were joined on the picket line by Karen Lewis from the teachers' union, Michael Caref from the National Federation of Labor, and some Sun-Times reporters and columnists. He estimates approximate 100 people joined in to show their support.