The Angry Whale (est. 2012)
In 2005 there were 13 full time employees on the photo staff of the daily newspaper in Columbia, SC. There were nine full time shooters who spent their days fanning out over the midlands documenting life in South Carolina. Since then I've observed with concern as a gradual mass exodus has taken place in the newspaper industry. The Pew Research Center reports that "photographers, along with visual journalists, represent the category of newsroom staffers hit hardest by rounds of job cuts." Many photojournalists have disappeared and as I type, there are only two full time shooters at the paper today and freelancers aren't seeing more assignments. The "Top Photos" section is dominated by political cartoons and sports. Local media in Columbia, SC is largely visually illiterate and citizen journalist content has little to no consideration of ethical practices or procedures of organization. Meanwhile, the fourth estate is under attack by the current administration in Washington.
As technology advanced at the turn of the century, the newspaper industry chose to embrace it to make things faster, rather than better. They now seem focused on competing in a never-ending battle against television news, instead of producing quality content.
Adult Giant Slip n Slide Photos Columbia SC 62987fourth of july boat parade lake murray - Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
RCPL Overdue Library Party Columbia SC 59244Overdue Library Party Columbia SC - Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford
RCPL South Carolina FloodingDavey Morris stands in floodwaters from the Black River October 9, 2015 in Andrews, South Carolina. The state of South Carolina experienced record rainfall amounts over the weekend but floodwaters continue to inundate communities as they move out to sea. Cedric Umoja Mural columbia sc 25105_Millwood Mural by Cedric Umoja - Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford Protests break out in charlotte 43489CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 21: With blood covering her hand and arm, a woman points at a police officer September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. Protests in Charlotte began on Tuesday in response to the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott at an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images) Columbia SC PhotographerSoda Citizen show - Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford halloween oct 2016 07722Halloween - Photo by Columbia SC photographer Sean Rayford