Chris Ariens at TV Newser reports that “at least 50 positions are being eliminated [including] as many as 12 staffers in the Washington, DC bureau alone, four of whom are longtime photojournalists.” These numbers pale in comparison to the mass layoffs of 2008, when CNN sacked its entire science, technology, and environment news staff, but it does throw a wrench into the resilient hope that citizen journalists aren’t stealing jobs from professional journalists.
Yes. They’re stealing the jobs. All on their own. Those dastardly citizen journalists! It can’t be that CNN’s rapacious profit-mongering has made them decide that it was cheaper to scam the inexperienced than continue to scam those who’ve done this as a job. It can’t be our masters’ fault! It must be those evil citizens!
I’m not arguing that anybody who can hold a camera can do the job of a photojournalist, by the way. But when we continue to frame the media conversation as SHUN THE INTERLOPERS, we not only diminish the potential contributions of those who didn’t have access to the traditional media training of the last 30 years, we pit parts of the 99 percent against each other and let the 1 percent off the hook. Twas ever thus, of course, but at least here I’d like us to talk smarter than that.