The Manchester Evening News has told its freelance photographers that there’ll be no more work for them.
In a 159 word email to the pool of photographers seen by Prolific North, Wayne Ankers, associate editor (Live News) at the paper explained that the previous policy of using freelancers rather than employing staff, has now been reversed and there was unlikely to be any further work.
The email explains:
“I just wanted you all to know that there will be no shifts available from next week onwards, week commencing 13 October.
“As you may be aware we have recently employed two videographers/stills photographers and now we have ten staff in the photographic department we feel we can no longer continue under the current arrangement.
“I have decided that we still need a court photographer but rather than spread five shifts amongst 14 freelancers we will be just using one photographer, Steve Allen.
“I understand that this will come as a disappointment to many of you who rely on shifts from the MEN.”
Ankers goes on to thank them for their hard work over the past year and offers to keep their details on file if the situation should change.
One of the photographers, who didn’t want to be named, said it was a sad day.
“They have thrown away well over 100 years of photography experience, probably closer to 200 years, the paper is now a shadow of what it was, and looks more like one of their weekly titles, they really have given up on the title, and rather than it be one of the best papers in the regions, its on a fast track to being the first big paper to stop being printed.”
The MEN is not the only newspaper to make significant changes to the way its photographic department is set up.
Earlier this year Johnston Press started an ongoing review of the way photographic content is generated on its regional newspapers which includes titles such as the Yorkshire Post.