Deathwatch of our Daily Print

Twitter - in the matrix mode... No, this won't be the future either....

“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us.
You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end.
I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin…”


No, I have no misconceptions of being Neo…  No, I am just looking, reading and thinking. Writing occasionally – as you see – mainly to challenge my own assumptions.

Marc Andreessen started the deathwatch for the NYT (New York Times) 2008, calling the paper – among other things – “…an obsolete, inconvenient physical product that nobody wants in an era of universal online access…”  (Fortune March 4, 2008) Others have followed, e.g. Paul Gillin is writing his Newspaper Death Watch, which makes really interesting reading. So I thought I add my domestic 50 cents and see how we are doing here in the North Pole.

My more or less educated guess is that in less than 5 years one of our so called afternoonpapers (IS/IL) will be history and within another five the most influencial – I should say almost institutionalized – national daily HS will follow. I’d like to make the time a bit shorter – as I believe it will be – but just to be on the safe side I say 5 and 10 years. Also, as we are now 2010 so it is easier to remember to make a note on your 2015 and 2020 calendars, respectively.

Do I take any pleasure saying this, arguing this way? Hell, no! All of these three have been offering me work through the 25 years or so I have been working as a photographer. Am I attacking them in some way? No, that is not my intention nor motivation at all. I still do a lot of work  for them and hope to keep it that way. So why do I say this aloud?

Because somebody has to. To freely quote one of my favorite authors, Tom Robbins: “Life is like a meat stew. You have to stir once in a while, otherwise all scum rises to the top.” (From “Still Life with Woodpecker”)

By “being history” above I mean: cease to exist in their present form. They will either go “digital first” like  USA Today announced just a couple of days ago, following The Globe and Mail and countless others) or they go totally digital or hyper-local or something else very drastic. Or they will simply cease to exist (which I don’t believe). Whatever,  but the bottomline is: my more or less educated guess is that by 2015 and 2020 in their present form, they are no longer with us. Put the dates in the calendar: 2015 and 2020.

A Bit of Personal History…

… so please bear with me. I’ve always been some sort of maverick when it comes to new technologies. In 1985 in the university I got this crazy obsession that I should learn about these things called Personal Computers.  I think Osborne was the first one introduced to the market at early eighties. No, not portable, they were luggable: 10-15kg’s, 8-bit CPM operating system, 64kb (yes, kb, not mb) of RAM… So, I spent my whole years budget and got me one – as I had this crazy notion/obsession in my mind that I should learn about this. Everybody was telling me how I was wasting my money and that there would always be typewriters… –  and should you for some reason need an actual  COMPUTER there was always the university mainframe…. You would not believe the amount of crap that I got poured all over me…. Remember, I was a linguistics major at the time … and  moved to psychology and cognitive sciences later on.

Goes without saying I am still building on the foundation I learned then about IT.

My second example is a couple of years later. Working in Washington D.C. on assignment I saw some AP photographers having an antenna sticking out of their camerabags. Something called a “portable phone”. When I got back home, I leased myself one, nobody had them at the time (no way I could have afforded to buy one, as it was 18 000FIM’s at the time, more or less the same in Euros today, it cost me as much as my car at the time….) Weight c. 1kg, operating time c. 4,5 hours (that’s stand-by not actual using time…) Ericson, if I remember correctly. Again, tons and tons of crap poured over me: “Waste of money, there is always a phonebooth somewhere….” etc. – and … well, the rest is history, as they say.

So I sort of decided along the way that the “next time” I’d be ready and  make use of this – and by “this” I mean the ability to smell technological changes – or whatever…. And that is what I am doing now. During the past year I have become totally convinced that newspapers as we know them now will not be around for a very long time anymore.

Disappearing Daily Print

Somebody described our print as “People who dont’ care, selling to people who care less” and that accurately describes the status quo. Why does this happen? There are several reasons,  here’s  a few: inability to change, obsession that the “news” is the basis of their operation. Denial ad ultimatum, thinking “it’ll get better next year” which so totally fulfills Einsteins definition of insanity. No research and development in content creation and rich media presentation.  False belief that technology (iPad, etc. ) will solve the problems. Insisting that The Print is somehow superior to the net. Saving oneself to death. And so on.

There are lots of reasons and they would merit more in depth discussion than this post will allow.  And I will discuss these issues more in the future, see. eg. my coming post on the iPad.

But my bottomline: this is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is happening elsewhere as well and there are different strategies being formed as how to cope in this turmoil. As Paul Melcher put it: “Media might be in crisis, but photography is doing just fine”. Once we accept that the daily print will not be our main source of creating a news-baseline, we have to start thinking what is.  And as individual photographers, once we accept that the future is elsewhere, we have to start looking for it. Instead of dumping the prices – again – and giving more and more  with no compensation to the dying dinosaurs, we start creating something new.

I am totally convinced that within 5 years images/work I produce for the print will be a small fraction of my actual work and the emphasis will be elsewhere. Actually, in my case, this is already happening – but the situation will be same for colleagues as well. It is easier trying to move to that direction when you accept that it will not get better, the print will never get back to “normal”, whatever that was. Time to move on.

And that is actually interesting. And very challenging. Trying to create something new. “To boldly go where….”

As you can feel,  I am actually rather positive about this (and it’s not the medication I took – or didn’t take – this morning…) ;-)  There is something to be said about the Phoenix rising from the ashes…

My favorite quote lately has been:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how how to dance in the rain”

So look around, read the signs (they are all open to see: circulation levels, ad revenues, new technologies…), draw your own conclusions, accept it – and move on. Get ahead of the curve. Unless you are retiring within couple of next years, you’ll have to go there anyway.

58 Comments

  1. Peter Forsgård
    September 3, 2010

    Great blogpost. I totally agree that one has to start thinking about the future before it actually is here. If one starts thinking about it too late, one is out of business. The weak signals are important.

    Too many photographers do not realise that the future is elsewhere, so they cannot even look where it might be. The ones that are starting to look for it, has to figure out the business model when they find the future of photography.

    For me the print is not interesting as a consumer. I do want rich media and will subscribe my magazines electronically to my tablet, as soon as I get one. It might be an iPad or something else.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Hi Peter –

      thank you for commenting. I know we share lots of the same ideas and opinions (you probably have noticed that you are on my sidebar…). I also want rich media content – both as a consumer and as a producer – but I’d hold my horses with the iPad (as much as I think it is a really cool thing and totally revolutionizing in many ways) See my coming post sometime next week.

      K

      Reply
  2. blogitteam
    September 3, 2010

    :)

    Reply
  3. Andy Westbrook
    September 3, 2010

    Excellent thoughts. I have been a print designer for 23 years. I personally don’t think print will go away. It is simply a format that has a great competitor. Perhaps, with time, there will be multiple markets for both print and online products where they work together. In collateral marketing, that is happening now; however, I don’t think people understand that importance of these two entities “dancing” together, as you would express. My company produces mirrored products for our clients in both print and web products. There are certain print formats that obviously are going to be challenged greater than others. For the individual, it is a matter of personal preference. How this pans out for certain forms of journalism and that particular formats demand, well, time will tell. This is time and society where change and adjustment to change is the norm.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Hi –

      thank you for taking the trouble to comment. Yes, I don’t agree either that the print as such will go away. Notice I was talking about three papers, I even named them to be clear. All national rags. Weekly papers, sunday editions, local papers will transform… but they will survive, in my opinion. I also was careful not to say that they will die and end of story; no, more likely they will continue to exist containing analysis, background, features, etc. whereas “pure news” will be more in the web. Maybe they come out 3-4 times a week – or something similar.
      Trouble presently (in Finland at least) is that practically nobody is designing dedicated content to the web platform. 500 digits of so called news and one picture; that is the approach majority of portals have.
      News as exclusive content just doesn’t exist anymore; within minutes competing websites have copied it if you have a scoop of any kind. Kind of hard to build a working financial model for that…?
      But (being a photographer), there is a good twist to this: images and especially original ways of using them are damn hard to copy. If you take the trouble of looking at my blog for the Livefeed coverage I did in Barcelona or the panoramas and multimedia I did in Whistler during the Olympics, you understand what I mean; that stuff is damn hard to copy, at least on the fly.
      Original visual content… that will be one key player in this survival struggle. But: how many papers can you name who actually put resources in developing that? In Finland, I cannot name one single publication.

      Reply
  4. ravensmarch
    September 3, 2010

    “…an obsolete, inconvenient physical product that nobody wants in an era of universal online access…”

    I don’t deny the rest of the post, and I’m actually objecting to someone else’s words, but the bland assumption of “Universal Access” chills me. There is a significant stratum of… I shall say “the developed world” of want of anything better… which cannot afford connectivity. To say that the poor can rely on public access, as in libraries, is a little disingenuous– the current moves to cut funding to all public facilities, the upper limit on the number of terminals available, and the growing number of poor combine to produce a practical disconnect for the disenfranchised. The future is undeniably rushing at us, but it appears that some people aren’t going to be able to climb aboard.

    Sorry for ranting on a tangent.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      No offence taken –

      and you make a good point.. I totally agree – if the future (in this field, ie. print media) is towards the iPad. But, take a moment to think about this: l Apple has been producing them with the rate of 1 milj./month since january. Come 2015, my first “set date” in my post, there is about 60 million of them around, compared to c. 2 bilj. personal (not business use) computers. That is about 3 percent. (Yes, the math is simplified, but gives you some idea) So building on that platform in the future is idiotic, to say the least… that is IF you want to have maximum audience. IF you want to create an elite which do have “superior access”, then it’s another issue…

      Thank you for your comment and making a point I had not considered at all – nor discussed.

      Related: I just got home after two months or so absence from the computer… and have been reading something about Google/Verizon effort of limiting the information published over WiFi. I have to look more into it, as it seemed totally absurd but – knowing Google – I would not be surprised. Very strongly connected to your justified objection of “universal access”.

      Reply
  5. Kat
    September 3, 2010

    Very nice post. An enjoyable read for someone working in the IT field. Of course, I’m a relatively young initiate of the field so reading about a 1kg cellular phone really puts things in perspective for me. (‘2.2 pounds?! Really?’ as I look at my tiny little flip-phone).

    It’s hard to let go of the past, I agree with that. There is so much comfort in the everyday routine, in familiarity, and in the idea of security. Who wants to pack up and move when the gig was a good one only a few months ago or even a few years ago? It’ll spring back somehow, right…?

    Being able to look for change before it’s on the doorstep is probably serving you well, and I applaud the willingness to do that and to move along. I myself am in a field that requires this kind of foresight and action. Once a programming language is deemed obsolete by the big companies the language and all jobs associated with it end up in their death throes (though there are always old systems that need maintaining and updating if you’re lucky enough to find the right companies).

    Thanks again for a pleasant read. Best of luck in your professional ventures.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Kat –
      thanks for a very nice comment; I got curious and even took a look at your blog… If the cell phone put things in perspective try this: in Romania (revolution 1989) I still carried practically a portable toilet with me as we had to soup film, make copies and transmit from the field… something like 60kg of lab equipment; and with this you try to remain agile in a crisis zone. Took about 15 min to get one BW-image through. Nowadays, I have a wifi transmitters in my cameras, router in the pocket and in the fastest scenario is c. 5 sec and the image is displayed on a live slideshow on the web…
      Yes, as Dylan put it: “The times they are a-changing….”

      Reply
      • Kat
        September 3, 2010

        kkuukka –

        “…something like 60kg of lab equipment; and with this you try to remain agile in a crisis zone”

        Oh my gosh! I can hardly imagine that. Then again military field units carry some pretty heavy packs in addition to weapons (though both are getting lighter as time passes I would imagine) so I suppose when you’re in the habit of it you get accustomed to it.

        “Nowadays, I have a wifi transmitters in my cameras, router in the pocket and in the fastest scenario is c. 5 sec and the image is displayed on a live slideshow on the web…”

        On this point I have a lot of thoughts, but in the interest of not hijacking your comments I’m going to hold off on writing a blog-length response just to pose them.

        I’m glad you ended up freshly pressed. I’ll be lurking. =)

        Reply
  6. notesfromrumbleycottage
    September 3, 2010

    I find your thoughts interesting even though I do not agree with them in total. I think there will be less physical newspapers in big towns. In smaller towns, people who are not outfitted with the latest electronics will still go for that paper. That way you can get the picture of a family member or a clipping of an obituary.

    Another interesting thought is that I heard rumblings the Chicago Tribune is considering having a large Sunday edition once again. It is a throwback to the era when you had to read all of the various sections with the big pictures and in-depth articles that did not always make it to the weekday editions.

    It makes me wonder if co-existence will be the way of the future when it comes to physical and web newspaper outlets instead of one eliminating the other.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Hi –

      thanks for commenting. Referring to what I said in an earlier response above: yes, I agree. Local papers will be survivors and we are most probably going to see some sort of co-existence of the print (analysis, background, feature stories, etc.) with the “pure news” moving to tablet platforms and the net.

      What I am lamenting about is the lack of R&D in the media for this. I see CEOs of major publishers licking their lips and talking about this “new iPad era” while totally missing the point: journalism and visual journalism is not about gadgets – its about people, it’s about storytelling…
      I love iPad for several reasons – but it will not be the savior of our daily print .

      Reply
  7. yinvestor
    September 3, 2010

    I really like this article! It shows that people are finally starting to wake up to the idea that the print vs. electronic media war is already over, and the electronics have won. In order for the NYT to re-coup some of its losses, i say, is to find other sources of revenue such as advertising revenue from its online publications, a partnership with other companies, and so on… This is the only way for them to stay in the game.

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    http://www.yinvestor.wordpress.com

    Reply
  8. lifeintheboomerlane
    September 3, 2010

    No doubt this is a watershed moment for the large, print newspapers. I agree that smaller, more local papers will survive (at least for the moment), especially in more rural areas. Last weekend, I went to an annual gathering of journalists who, at one time, worked together at the same paper. Half of them are now in other professions.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Hi Renee –

      I have had many friends moving to other fields, going back to school at the age of 50, getting “a day job”; as the pressure has been building. Lots of people just bow their heads and accept working for ridiculous fees and terms, giving all the rights for their work for pennies… somehow thinking that it’ll get better.
      One more time: it won’t.

      Reply
  9. writerdood
    September 3, 2010

    The building next door to my office where the city’s newspaper used to be is still vacant. I miss seeing the editors and reporters wandering around. Nothing has gone in there yet. It will probably be full of rats soon.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      No – the rats have left the building

      (If you didn’t know, we used to – and I guess still do – call the platoon of journalists and photographers always rushing to the next crisis area as the “ratpack…”)

      Reply
  10. Tamara
    September 3, 2010

    I’m all for digital media, but this line made me sad: “print will never get back to ‘normal.'” There’s something about the feel of turning a page with your fingers that the click of a mouse can never match.

    Reply
  11. Brian McGee
    September 3, 2010

    Twitter is lame. Waste of time.

    Reply
  12. CrystalSpins
    September 3, 2010

    “No research and development in content creation…”

    I entered the newspaper business 3 years ago. And I have felt as though we are all bailing furiously on a sinking ship ever since. At my paper they have been cutting staff and resources to try to stay afloat — but you can only do that for so long before the quality of final product isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

    We are lucky that we are in a good market, but being a part of a larger corporations the other newspapers that are doing badly are dragging us down with them.

    I’m getting out. At least for now. I’ve already moved to the advertising side of things. And soon I won’t be in this business at all anymore. And it makes me sad. I like the work, (I’m a great feature writer and a great designer) but the atmosphere of the industry is totally toxic right now.

    In my instance I don’t feel that the people who are capable of making decisions are willing to do what it takes to succeed. Personally I’m an advocate for hyper-local coverage. I say leave the “news” online and do in the paper the things that online can’t do. Go deep.

    Anyway, thanks for your perspective. And I hope you enjoy the rain dance.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Crystal –

      I am actually enjoying it… and surviving with it as well. My clients hire me to do certain things (typically major sports events abroad) for the print and I always try to come up with some funky multimedia approach as well – without them typically asking for it. They are puzzled, but they usually run it… and it is slowly picking up a steady audience. So much so, that they advertize on their website, that “this dude who does all these panomaras and multimedias and all kind of funky things is going to the olympics again for us” etc. – well, not those words, but you get the drift.
      One dominating trend of the future media is that the interested audience follows people (writers, photographers, etc.) they find interesting, not brandnames (New York Times, HS, etc.) who pay their monthly ticket. “Tribal leading” as Seth Godin has termed it.
      But more about this later. Thank you for your comment. And your second last paragraph, about the being capable of making those decisions…. I could not have written it better myself. 100% agree.

      Reply
      • notesfromrumbleycottage
        September 4, 2010

        Couldn’t you say that has been true for a long time in regards to columnists? People followed Mike Royko when he moved from the Sun-Times to the Tribune in Chicago back in the 80s. People pick up Friday papers for their favorite movie critics. I do not think that is a new trend, especially when you live in a city with a choice of papers.

        Reply
  13. Matrix
    September 3, 2010

    It’s Neo.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Damn – watching too much cartoons lately, obviously. I correct it immediately. Thanks for setting me straight.

      Reply
  14. Bill
    September 3, 2010

    On a side note. Seth Godin recently announced he’s no longer publishing books in paper format. Just another side of paper’s impending death.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 3, 2010

      Yup – I know. He is one of the most articulate minds I have ever encountered. “Linchpin” was part of my summerreading… which you can propably read between the lines of my post ;-)

      Reply
  15. Sunflowerdiva
    September 4, 2010

    I agree with your view on how we must anticipate the future. And how newspapers are bound to dissappear in a number of years. But you never know with the world … that’s why I like it; sometimes the things you think will become major trends surface–and then suddenly you never hear of them again, while other times you think about things, “Pfffft! That’ll never happen!” and they turn out to become some miracle that people eventually say, “What would we do without (this/that)?”

    It’s quite fascinating to see the world evolve, although I sometimes hate the new technology that comes out. iPods–amazing, but killed the record stores. eBooks on Kindle and Nook … I’m not sure I like those, but it’s obvious that the publishing industry is going down a new road, and that book stores will also eventually die out.

    All in all, this was a very interesting post that I enjoyed reading. Great job, and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    Reply
  16. Gabriel
    September 4, 2010

    I wrote a piece a little while ago you might be interested in… some reporter friends and myself were talking about this issue and someone said “the Internet murdered the newspaper”, but I see it as more of a suicide than anything else. Newspapers picked the wrong business model during the 1990’s and they’ve stuck with it even though it’s killing them:

    “So the business model print news media has selected for itself for the past ten years involves giving away it’s content for free to anyone who wants it, these people then post it to social networks — which exist only because their content is provided for free, and which then profit greatly from the advertising surrounding the free content.”

    The major problem with so many newspapers dying, is the experience and knowledge of the reporters is lost. And to expect Twitter, Facebook, a small online publication or even something like the Huffington Post to replace the collective experience of the Rocky Mountain News is absurd.

    Anyway… I definitely agree that the local papers, if they’re run by smart people, will survive as the larger papers are slowly replaced by digital versions.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 4, 2010

      Gabriel –

      i read your post. Nice one. Will reread it one of these days with more time. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  17. jakey
    September 4, 2010

    My god. But I totally agree that one has to start thinking about the future before it actually is here. http://www.cnkidstoy.com

    Reply
  18. sayitinasong
    September 4, 2010

    Yes the decline of the paper media and indeed paper books in favour of the digital mediums has been in the air for quite some time. Even though I am resigned to the fact that it will indeed happen, I am reluctant to let go of my books and switch to kindle…even though I have to admit I have largely switched to online content when it comes to newspapers. Has the change to digital media created more work for pro photographers? Hyvin kirjoitettu ja monia hyvia points!

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 4, 2010

      More work for pros??? Hell no; in their saving frenzy all the papers are plastered with “lukijan kuva” ie. free, reader donated image or bulk agency pics… 15 000 journalists lost their jobs in US last year – there’s a lot of photographers in that number. Same here in Finland, smaller scale, but same phenomenon…
      Nice to see commentary from the North Pole (i.e. Finland) as well ;-)

      Reply
  19. Jeff
    September 4, 2010

    I enjoyed and agreed with your thoughts.

    As a pressman I saw this coming a long time ago. More magazines and catalogs are reducing their runs on paper and going to online pdf’s.

    The economy (at least in the states) has reduced round the clock press rooms into one or two shift operations – running more efficiently with less people.

    And the digital press room is bringing up the rear. Quality isn’t as good, but for convenience and price for smaller runs it just makes financial sense. And our digital department is far busier than our conventional press area.

    On a side note, schools aren’t churning out students that can write in cursive anymore. How long before they can’t read anything with serifs or that isn’t abbreviated?

    Reply
  20. amybeth1
    September 4, 2010

    great post

    Reply
  21. cons36
    September 4, 2010

    I love physical print.

    Reply
  22. alyxwi
    September 5, 2010

    Firstly, your English is incredible. I always like to tell people how much I appreciate them taking the time to learn the language that happens to be my native tongue. I’m starting in on my fifth year of German, so I can appreciate how difficult one foreign tongue is, and then you’ve gone and learned so many more.

    I also agree that while newspapers may be useful for nostalgic purposes, that’s about the end of it. I like them; I get the Wall Street Journal delivered every day, but by then I’ve already read many of the articles on my iPad, iPhone, Google Reader feed or some other new medium. Digital is the new print, but what’s the new photograph?

    As a photographer, I understand what you mean when you ask “what’s next?” We’ve got all of these incredible cameras and breathtaking software, but where can we go from here? I’m too young to have ever known photography the way you do, but I recognize the shift of local newspapers and other low-budget publications from staff and freelance photographers to reader-submitted, stock and flickr photographs. In some sense it’s good, but both publications and photographers need to find an arrangement that can somehow take advantage of the new technology and benefit each party.

    I don’t know what kind of technology the future has in store for us, but when it comes out, I’m sure you’ll be the first to own it. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 5, 2010

      Alyx –

      thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Real funny: I was just rereading what I had posted and thought to myself: “Damn, I have to brush up my language, I use too many of the same expressions all the time…” And then come you, and compliment on it… My very, very humble thanks.

      I’d like to take your third paragraph- use it as a source of inspiration- and ask a question: do you think that writing has gotten much better since the computer? Would Hemingway have written better prose had he not used a pencil, sharpened with a knife (yes, I loved the “Moveable Feast”)? The incredible cameras and software is available, you are right – but it is not about the gadgets, it’s not about brushing everything up in photoshop to create the most incredible “visual fix”. It’s about real stories, real people… It’s about photographers vision, photographers with integrity.
      I get often asked what is it that I like most in my profession. Being sent to the Olympics on a regular basis? Meeting interesting people? etc. While these are nice and have some appeal, my honest answer is: being professional – having been it for a while – has given me the ability to see things differently. I see light differently, movement differently. It has taught me to see the world differently.
      Flicker etc. and sharing of millions of images is nice and gives millions of people lots of joy. Is it visual journalism? No. Not even close. Is iPad the future? No. It’s a gadget for displaying content. Question is: what content? Who creates it – and thus – what quality does it have?

      You know probably the story of the japanese gardner who had the greatest, most beautiful rosegarden in the world? One day the emperor said he wanted to see this what everyone was talking about. He came and found the place totally torn apart. Flat, burned down. Except for this one, perfect rose – which the gardner humbly presented to the emperor.
      Now, as a professional photographer, I aspire to be that gardner…

      I love your question: what’s the new photograph? Seriously, with your permission, I will continue on this later on. But briefly: maybe it’s not a photograph. Maybe it’s a visual approach using photographs. Something that is rarely done yet. With the risk of sounding conceited, let me give two examples: yesterday I followed professional boxing (an assignment for a national daily – and me being a former brain researcher (seriously), it is not my favorite sport..). I told them that I would also create a website which would present my images – unedited, from the ringside – straight out of camera into a live slideshow with delay of c. 15 sec. – with my twitter commentary running on the side. The only thing they had to do was link to it. They did and it got quite an audience last night.

      It was not photoshop, it was not gadget – it was genuine straight forward storytelling thru images. See: http://bit.ly/cHt624

      Another one is this racing circuit thing I did (just as a demo) last fall; I mentinon it because I made it bilingual and you can see the English version as well and understand what’s going on. See: http://bit.ly/8ZtHmB

      No, the future professional photograph does not necessarily look like this… But these are my humble attempts to go to that direction. Visual storytelling… not “just images” to illustrate a text based story.

      And – please see thru the fact that the topic here is sports – it just happens to be my field of expertise, I don’t mean to imply that it is in anyway important as such.

      Thank you one more time for a nice comment, it generated a lot a thought.. as you can see ;-). If you are interested in the iPad, stay tuned. My next post will be on that…

      K

      Reply
      • alyxwi
        September 5, 2010

        I think that writing has become a hobby that is more accessible to the masses. In the 1700s and 1800s, one had to be good at writing for his piece to ever see the light of day, so we had sample bias in our survey of Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution-era writing. Now that anyone can get on the internet and post whatever they see fit, the overall quality of writing worldwide has declined. The difference is that now those who never had the ability to write are expressing themselves.

        I agree with your point about the cameras and software; I rarely ever use photoshop on my pictures because I feel that it’s almost lying to the viewer. Using software adds skill that the photographer lacks, but then I fail to see the point of even taking the pictures in the first place. Many tend to use digital fixes as a crutch so that they never have to improve as a photographer for their photographs to improve.

        I’d love to hear your thoughts on the “new photograph.” I very much like the approach you took to the boxing match and the circuit racing; it allows for the real quality of still photography and the context of a video or newspaper article to be combined to make something better.

        I look forward to your future posts. You are a very unique man and your photography is inspirational.

        Reply
        • kkuukka
          September 5, 2010

          Alyx –

          busy editing at the moment, but briefly: I am happy came across this post and that you took the trouble of opening those links I gave you. It’s nice to know you might be watching next time I post something. And your last sentence – what is the English expression: “Flattery will get you anywhere…?” ;-)

          k

          Reply
  23. Juha Seila
    September 5, 2010

    Hi Kari!

    It was so inspiring for me to find this very interesting blog.

    I’m a part time freelance photographer covering music and sports related events for Finnish magazines and newspapers (like IL, that was on your list :)). I’ve seen with my own eyes the trend of photography and especially the way photographers are treated in case of financial issues or even when they are trying to do their work as a photographer. It has not definitely gone better over last ten years!

    My main area of profession is on IT technology on software side. I’m keen on waiting for your next blog post of iPad and the tablet gadgets overall.

    Thanks for the time you shared with me yesterday at The Boxing night answering my questions about your gadget setup!

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 5, 2010

      It was good meeting yesterday – pleasure talking to you.

      Reply
  24. sociosound
    September 5, 2010

    I completely agree with much of what you’re saying here. Welcome to the land of the iPad…

    D

    http://sociosound.wordpress.com

    Reply
  25. rtcrita
    September 5, 2010

    Time to move on? Yes, or get buried in the dust of those that are doing just that. As a mother of two older teenage children–one in her second yr. of college and one who will be entering college next fall–I have always known that I’d better get on board with all the new technology since my children were in grade school and I had to teach myself how to use a computer so I could help them learn how so they could do well in school. And, believe me, I fought it for a long time. Then, I just dove in.

    Where I use to work, a photograpy studio of a retail store, I saw how the Internet catalogue work had far surpassed the paper catalogue business. Of course, there’s all the aspects of convenience, abilitiy to access more, etc. And it wasn’t a newspaper-type business. But my point is, I was seeing how the Internet had the ability to do so much more or reach so many more people than their paper catalogue did. So their Internet business grew to astronomical proportions in comparison.

    My son is studying IT in school and hopes to go on to do this kind of work after college. He has grown up in a computer world and that’s what he knows and he isn’t nostalgic at all for papers and hardbound novels, etc., like I am. But this is HIS world now and in the future. And he will be prepared for whatever it brings because he has adapted to this kind of life as he has grown up. It’s hard for me to deal with sometimes, but I have to remind myself that the world is always changing and if you want to be successful in it, you have to be willing to change along with it. It’s just the change seems to come ever so faster than it did when I was growing up.

    That was one of the reasons I started blogging recently, after contemplating the necessity of it for a couple of years. The Iternet has the ability to reach so many people if I want to get my information out. I can get all my news from the Internet and pick and choose what I want to know about instead of sitting in front of my T.V. waiting for 20 minutes through stories about somebody’s little black cat that got stuck in a drain pipe so they had to send a whole army of fire rescuers to retrieve littly kitty just so I can finally hear the story I wanted to or see what the local weather or sports was about. I can shop through 3 or 4 Internet catalogues to find the perfect outfit or jacket I was looking for instead of paying for and ordering bulky paper catalogues that I end up shifting from place to place in my house because they’re in the way and I haven’t had a chance to sit down and look at them thoroughly yet. And the list goes on and on. I didn’t mind doing all of those things before–before I had the CHOICE to do it differently, that is.

    However, while I do agree with you about the shift in everything new and tecnological (espcecially as it relates to print), I also see a trend where people are getting weary of all this new technology and the demands it puts on us financially (those little gadgets are expensive!) and mentally to try and keep up with the new ways in which they work to more simpler things. More tactile things. There’s Etsy now with all the “handmade” items and everywhere I go and everything I see in the past year or so is all about being “original, creative, one-of-a-kind, handmade” and so forth. There are small mom & pop type stores that have sprung up here in my town that advertise these very kinds of items and have a small following of regular customers. Only time will tell how well they actually will do. Of course, these people are not without their cell phones and laptops in order to conduct their businesses. It’s sort of a combining of the old and the new.

    The only time I read a real newspaper anymore is if it happens to be in a place of business where I have to wait for services and so I pick it up and browse through it. And every time I do, I say to myself, “I need to go buy the paper so I can take it home and read the whole thing.” Only…I never do. Because when I get home, I just look everything up on the Internet.

    Reply
  26. ruthnoakes
    September 6, 2010

    I totally agree, print is dying, but I think it will become a collectable of some kind, for novelty’s sake. Things always go that way when they become scarce.

    “People who dont’ care, selling to people who care less”, that made me laugh. You have good use of quotes, but also your own writing is great, flows really easily and I’ll definitely be reading more.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 6, 2010

      Ruth –

      thank you for your kind words. I like the idea that there are people who might be back to see something else I cook up in the future. I hope to see you again.

      Reply
  27. Slamdunk
    September 6, 2010

    Thanks for your educational post. As a jounalist for a traditional paper, my brother has struggled to survive career-wise for years.

    Reply
  28. Deathwatch of our Daily Print (via Kari Kuukka Photography – a blog) « Cubiyanqui
    September 6, 2010

    […] 6 Sep "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid… you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin…" No, I have no misconceptions of be … Read More […]

    Reply
  29. David Middlecamp
    September 6, 2010

    I have been saying newspapers are dead ever since radio but they keep throwing it on my doorstep. Hey! Get off my lawn!

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 6, 2010

      David –

      nice blog you are producing… I really, really liked it. I hope they keep throwing it for a long time to come.

      Thanks for taking a peek on my babbling… I feel kind of – I don’t know – humbled I guess having thousands of people around the world now reading what I happened to think aloud and post here in the North Pole (Finland). And people taking the time to comment, even. Feels strange… but good.

      Reply
      • Wadzi Muzwidzwa
        September 8, 2010

        Very insightful.

        In the article “Tough Love with Ken Lerer”, the veteran journalist (Lerer is co-founder of the Huffington Post” stated that newspapers themselves are to blame for their downfall.

        He said newspapers failed to adapt their business models “in the transformative way that the new digital world required.”

        It’s a worthy opinion. The unfortunate truth of Journalism, particularly newspapers, in the present day is that we are the ones to blame for our conundrum. In a now fatal act of procrastination, we failed to look ahead to the changing curve of media and adapt appropriately. Newspapers were (and are) destined to become extinct. There’s no denying it. However, we could have made the shift to digital earlier and thus, retained much of our readership.

        Reply
  30. The skills of the fleetingly famous « Dzhendigi's Blog
    September 8, 2010

    […] writing on September 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm After reading about the success of Dijana’s blog on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page, I thought that I’d check out some of the other blogs there and, in the style of myself, […]

    Reply
  31. Deathwatch of our Daily Print (via Kari Kuukka Photography – a blog) | Selected Posts
    September 12, 2010

    […] Deathwatch of our Daily Print (via Kari Kuukka Photography – a blog) Posted on September 12, 2010 by Valent Mustamin "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid… you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin…" No, I have no misconceptions of be … Read More […]

    Reply
  32. Prophesy to the Wind « Kari Kuukka Photography – a blog
    September 17, 2010

    […] of readers daily taking a peek at your thoughts. Happened to me last week, when WP posted my “Deathwatch” on their front page. I mean, I’m used to having people viewing my images, but not my […]

    Reply
  33. Tommi
    September 18, 2010

    I do understand your view on this, which is not a suprise since I have been following your blog quite some time. I have heard some stories about the contracts that have been offered to freelancers. There’s no shame at all. It is hard to me even understand that some papers can even suggest such a one-sided conract to anyone. Quite a clear sign where the future will not be.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      September 18, 2010

      Tommi moi –

      hieno toi sun viimenen lause; luvallasi lainaan sitä joskus. Kiva nähdä että seuraat.

      K

      Reply
      • Tommi
        September 18, 2010

        Moi,

        Juu lainaa vain. Sehän on kiva, että joskus osaa kirjoittaa jonkun lainauskelpoisenkin lauseen :)

        Reply
        • kkuukka
          September 18, 2010

          Meni jo (ainakin ensimmäisen kerran) –

          ks. Peter Forsgårdin blogi, on tuossa sidebarissa (muutenkin lukemisen arvoinen).

          k

          Reply
  34. Antti Karppinen
    November 1, 2013

    Yep, the only thing that is constant is Change. Good article!

    A

    Reply

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