Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Meet the news photographers, journalism world's second class citizens

Journalists like Alex Adonis are not the only ones worrying in the world of journalism about the low pay they are getting. News photographers too -- considered in the profession as "second-class citizens," as Luz Rimban had written in the March 2007 issue of the PJR Reports -- often get meager salaries, with many of them getting paid per photograph. The average price for a published photo? For tabloids, it's a whopping fee between P75 to 125; for the broadsheets P200 to 250. And that is if your photo, indeed gets published. And to think that those rates are given by Manila papers. I am quite sure the pay gets less in community papers.

Some who are regularly employed by major news organizations get around P9,000, about the entry-level rate for a reporter. Still, that's not enough to cover all the expenses that come with the job -- the pricey camera equipment, film, transportation, food, and other expenses. And what about the family waiting home for your salary to pay off daily expenses?

It would have been better if the pay increase is faster. But in the case of photographers... let's just say your old circa-1990s dial-up internet connection is faster than the salary increase. As one photographer had told Ma'am Luz, "In 1987, the pay of a photographer per month was P5,000. After 10 years, in 1997, it became P7,000. In 2007, it will go up to P9,000. Just imagine, every decade, we get only a P2,000 increase. How will we live decently on that kind of money?”

Frankly, I love this issue. It gives us a peek on the world of news photographers -- often out of the media limelight, "discriminated" against by the profession where they work, underpaid, overworked, and yet very much needed.

And oh, while you're at it, please do read the story Venus Elumbre and I co-wrote on the recent forum the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility organized regarding its elections coverage monitoring project.

Main Story

The life and (hard) times of the news photographer
The Other Journalist
by Luz Rimban

Other Stories

Monitoring the coverage of the May '07 elections
Will Media Do a Better Job This Time?
by Venus L. Elumbre and Hector Bryant L. Macale

TV anchors and the news
What You See and What You Get
by Junette B. Galagala

The UN envoy on th political killings:
'In a State of Denial'
by Rachel E. Khan

Reporters Without Borders on the Philippine press
by More Murders and a New Enemy

The life and death of a crusader
The Ghost of Dong Batul
by Yasmin D. Arquiza

The rewards and heartaches of photojournalism
Life Behind the Lens
by Mike Perez

Buhay ng Photographer
(the original version as submitted by Mike Perez)


luthien said...

actually dapat mahiya din ako sa balat ko reklamo ako nang reklamo sa sweldo ko pero mas nakakaawa ang posisyon ng mga photographers.

ang mahirap pa dito minsan ilan lang photos ang pwedeng ilagay sa loob ng dyaryo kasi hindi naman ganon karami ang pahina kaya konti lang ang chance na mabayaran ka.

jeniffer said...

oo nga, pero you know gusto ko din talaga ang photograph na course.. or meybe as a hobby.. hai.. kawawa talaga..

bryant said...

@ luthien

yes. kakalungkot talaga ang situation. if reporters get less pay, photographers receive lesser. and to think that they are the ones expected to be in the thick of the action everytime somethings comes up.

bryant said...

@ jennifer

thanks for the comment.

Blog directory