He May Not Be Worried, But I Am …

This will take you some time, but read through Bryan Smith’s profile piece in Chicago Magazine on Michael Ferro, the guy now running the Chicago Sun-Times.

Any hope Chicagoans may have had for the Sun-Times remaining relevant ends with this segment:

Ironically, Ferro insists that he loves photography. On our tour, he grows particularly animated as he proudly points out framed photos hanging on the walls of the 10th floor and in his office: “They’re all by Sun-Times photographers.”

I barely begin to ask the obvious question before he jumps in. “I know what you’re going to say,” he says. “But the world has changed. I mean, this took a lot of work back then. A guy had to develop the film. It could take days to get this shot. Now we have thousands of photos to select from. So when Jim [Kirk] wants to pull a photo of Jay Cutler jumping up and down, he has a thousand choices.

“It’s also a multimedia world,” Ferro continues. “A world of Snapchat and editing on the fly. You’ve got to be able to take video and put it out there. You just gotta go, go with it and clean it all up after.

“I am very sympathetic toward [the photographers]. If I were in their shoes, I would feel bad too. It would be like you’re a carriage driver and the cars come and you’re really upset that you can’t have your buggy whip and hit your horse anymore.”

In fact, Ferro says, the photographers should have been let go sooner. “I knew the photographers would be going from the day we took this paper over. We took a year and a half too long to do it. … I can tell you 100 percent before we bought this we had that cutlass ready.”

Ferro is the guy in charge of the organization and he believes that photographers spent most of their energy on developing film?

So that annoyed me, but the comment in there that scares me?

You just gotta go, go with it and clean it all up after.

Clean it up in Photoshop because the background was a mess and it wasn’t really sharp, so you manipulate it to look like a decent image and throw ethics away?

Or do you not even bother and run whichever of the 1,000 images you claim you can get your hands on and say to hell with the ethics of how it came to be? Libelous? Clean it up with a correction …

Mark E. Johnson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment