Chicago Sun-Times’ Suburban Papers to Pay $10 Per Photo, Give or Take

The photo editor for a chain of suburban newspapers owned by Sun-Times Media of Chicago told freelance photographers yesterday that news and feature photo assignments will pay $65 each, and that photographers are expected to deliver 5 to 7 photos per assignment.

“Of course more photos is always nice for choices and file art if the story is revisited,” Pioneer Press Newspapers photo editor Geoff Scheerer wrote in a memo to freelancers. The memo was obtained and published today on the Jim Romenesko media blog.

The rate for sports photo assignments is $90, according to the memo.

In May, Sun-Times Media fired its staff photographers at the Chicago Sun-Times and its suburban papers. STM executives explained that they were diverting resources from photo to video because readers wanted more video. They said the papers would rely on reporters and freelancers for photo coverage.

Scheerer told freelancers for the suburban papers in his memo that he was clarifying rates “now that I’ve been given a hardcore budget.” For more details about the rates and Scheerer’s expectations of photographers, see the original memo.

Related: Chicago Sun-Times Eliminates Photo Staff

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4 Responses to “Chicago Sun-Times’ Suburban Papers to Pay $10 Per Photo, Give or Take”

  1. Melissa Carr Says:

    Very interesting! I wonder if the demand for photography has really decreased or if the increase in freelance photographers has become so great that there is really no need to have staff photographers. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Gerlo Beernink Says:

    In The Netherlands already a tradition with all regional papers. €65 for 6 photos to be delivered within half an hour after the assignment. (iPad app!)
    Stupid! #Wegener

  3. Daniel Forster Says:

    Maybe we photographers can start a newspaper and then fire the writers?
    “The photographers can write the story and captions”

  4. Lee Meltzer Says:

    Do “readers” really read? Maybe the writers can be fired and then save even more resources.
    Let them watch videos.