Veteran photographer Larry Price has quit his job as director of photography for the Dayton Daily News rather than carry out an order from management to fire half of the paper’s photographers, according to a recent article in the Dayton Business Journal.

“I’ve watched this happen in newspapers year after year now. I’ve had many, many friends that have been affected, many stellar journalists,” Price told the Dayton Business Journal. “These people are my group. They’re my friends. They’re my colleagues. I’ve asked so much of them in the four years I’ve been here. Every time, they’ve stepped up to the plate and delivered. It wasn’t a decision I could make in good conscience.”

The article goes on to explain how the morale and integrity of the photo department were slowly eroded by management decisions, according to Price. For instance, he was told that a photograph of a girl with tears in her eyes at a candlelight vigil was too emotional.

“The new prerogative, as it was explained to me, was to dumb down the photo report, to pull back and show crowd photographs,” Price is quoted as saying.

Price won a Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1981 for his coverage of the coup in Liberia for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1985 for his photographs of the wars in Angola and El Salvador for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was recruited from the Denver Post four years ago to head the photo department at the Dayton Daily News.

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