Saint John — Following the New York Times decision to double what it pays their photographers, Brunswick News has announced it will do the same, upping its per-photo rate from $25 to $50.
“Just like when we fired all our staff photographers, we are constantly following what other leaders in the newspaper industry are doing,” said Jamie Irving, head of Brunswick News, Inc. “While we will continue to have our reporters taking great photos with their phones, there are still those rare times when an actual photographer might come in handy. Like if the refinery blew up, or if there was a terrorist attack on Saint John.”
Local freelance photographer Stephen West wasn’t impressed with the new rates, however. “I don’t get out of bed for less than $125 an hour,” he said, “so even if they did call me, when you factor in the time involved, it’s not worth it. Basically I never get out of bed anymore.”
Local camera club member Jim Sullivan thinks the new rates are comparatively great. “I usually just take photos for free, and sometimes I actually get credit,” he said. “To get paid for taking photos would be just as good I guess.”
Readers of the newspapers published by Brunswick News seem to have assumed that employees were already well reimbursed for their skilled efforts. Wanda Colbert, a Times & Transcript subscriber, said the subscription rates just keep increasing, while the quality plummets.
“Seems like the price for the paper is going up all the time, so just where is that money going if they’re not giving it to writers, photographers and editors? I considered just cancelling the damn thing, but I’d really miss the obituaries and cutout coupons. I’m not sure where you can get that stuff if not the T&T.”
We asked Irving where BNI plans to find the extra money for these extravagantly priced photos.
“We’ll just fire some more reporters and replace them with unpaid interns from Toronto or wherever. That’s probably what NYT does.”