Written by Jim Hughes
As rather gleefully announced in today's edition of its arch-rival, the New York Post, the New York Daily News has fired veteran photographer David Handschuh, whose injury and survival while photographing during the twin towers' collapse on 9/11 has become the stuff of legend. "For me," David wrote on his Facebook page about the World Trade Center site he had earlier driven past, "it was the place where my life was luckily spared while photographing for the Daily News. The ironic part, I was driving into the office to be fired from my job, a position I have so proudly held for 27 years this month.... My co-workers, who are the most dedicated of creative spirits, are living in an insane asylum."
Also shown the door, according to the Post, were Deputy Photo Editor Jim Alcorn, Night Photo Editor Kevin Coughlin, photo editors Karlo Pastrovic and David Pokress, and photojournalists Mark Bonifacio, Andrew Theodorakis, Enid Alvarez and Aaron Showalter, along with Copy Chief Phil Cornell. These firings follow a similar purge at the News last year which saw some two dozen from the editorial staff let go. Speculation is that owner Mort Zuckerman, who made his fortune in real estate, wants more emphasis and resources directed toward the digital side.
The Daily News once billed itself as "New York's Picture Newspaper," and even now includes a symbolic press camera as part of its logo. There was a time when I would advise young people wanting to get into photojournalism to start with a staff job at a daily newspaper. Print, I believed, was a learning laboratory that would live forever. Seems that is no longer true, and my well-intentioned advice is no longer good, and hasn't been for some time. I can only wring my ink-stained hands.
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©2014 by Jim Hughes, all rights reserved
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