A senior regional editor has highlighted the continuing need for specialist photographers despite the demise of the country’s only dedicated photojournalism course.
This year’s Journalism Skills Conference is being held in Sheffield which until recently was the home of the internationally-famous press photography course led by Paul Delmar.
Jane Parr, journalism course leader at Sheffield College, told the conference the course had closed because it had become financially unsustainable.
But Neil White, editor-in-chief of the Derby Telegraph and Burton Mail and a member of the board of the NCTJ, said there was still a need for qualified press photographers in newsrooms – highlighting football coverage as an example of where their skills are most needed.
Neil cited the Telegraph’s coverage of last year’s fire which devastated the city’s Assembly Rooms car park in support of his argument.
He said: “We received endless photographs from the public via Twitter and Facebook. But the great picture as taken by out photographer Ian Hodgkinson who was taught here at Sheffield College through the NCTJ.
Neil went on: “Football is another area where you still need qualified photographers and football is a massive thing for us.
“I do believe there is a future for good photography, but is there room for a specialist photography course? I am unsure about that.”
Earlier Jane had spoken of the decision to close the Sheffield photojournalism course last year.
“We simply didn’t have enough applicants for the course and there were different reasons for that. We had to do it for financial reasons,” she told the conference.