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Fairfax: don't rip photography out of the heart of your journalism – give your staff a fair go

This petition had 15,753 supporters


The most memorable ones are the horrific crime scenes, probably. Or the conflicts in East Timor and natural disasters – taking photos of such destruction can be heartbreaking. 

That's what I do for a living, and have done for 28 years. I'm the chief photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald, and we're starting a petition to try and stop Fairfax from sacking many of its photojournalists and behind-the-scenes news staff. 

I never thought we'd have to do this. I have covered just about everything for Fairfax: the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, conflicts in East Timor, disasters in The Philippines, Papal and Presidential visits, Royal tours, crime scenes...there isn’t much I haven’t seen.

Photographers at Fairfax have helped present our changing world and momentous events to Australians for years, yet Fairfax's latest 'restructure' plans will gut our photojournalism.

As my colleague Tony Wright wrote recently: "The best photojournalists (and Australia's media are full of them) use the mirrors within their cameras to reflect who and what we are, or are not.

They annoy politicians and others of profile and power because they do not focus on the images those subjects might wish to project. Their best pictures are on the sly, creatively and instinctively stolen in a fraction of a second..."

I think that's what all our media should stand for. Quality. Insight. And fantastic photos that shine a light into our society.

I have always regarded Fairfax as my family, with all the responsibilities that go with being part of a family. It means treating every job ethically and morally - all those beliefs you have in looking after a family, and being part of it.

Please sign our petition to help us tell Fairfax to give their news staff a fair go – and save photojournalism that brings our news to life.


*the image above is a photo I shot which won the Nikon-Walkley Portrait Prize in 2013. It's a photograph of Coral Dini, a woman from the Papua New Guinea highlands who survived a brutal attack after being accused of being a witch. It was a great privilege to meet her and photograph her and her husband.

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