Monday, March 30, 2009

The Recession Chronicles: Peter Tobia

Peter Tobia has been a photojournalist for 25 years working most recently at the Philadelphia Inquirer where he covered local, national and international assignments for 15 years. He produced photographic essays from Somalia, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, East Africa and Iraq. He is currently freelancing and is based in Philadelphia metropolitan area.


Newspapers across the country need their own G summit, convention, etc., and agree on one thing: All newspapers will charge a fee for going online to newspaper websites. If people want to read the news online than they should have to pay for it. Newspapers need to stop wasting time and move on and take responsibility for where they are going instead of standing idly by and watching the walk to the slaughterhouse. Newspapers prided themselves on giving voice to those who had none. Telling the story of the little guy. Now newspapers are the little guy and they are silent. If newspaper people believe in what they do they need to shout loud so they are heard. They need to get out of the newsroom and into the streets.

Old City, Philadelphia, Peter Tobia 3/6/09


The early years. On fire!
Tumbling through stars
a million miles away into another universe, looking to stop time while trusting the map of intuition and passion.
Never thinking of the ending, only the moment; decisive, fleeting, unbroken.


  1. As an avid news reader, I would be willing to subscribe for news content. As a journalist, I would like to see revenues raised for those who produce the content as staff jobs disappear, including and especially freelancers.

  2. How would you structure the cost to compensate staffers and freelancers? What type of conditions and licensing are we crafting to protect the worker?

    Would banners, advertising, and a annual usage fee be the route? Is that enough?

    Or the industry could set up a cable type model where local, national,international papers, and other print media outlets would be a part of a subscription service. That in turn would give citizens greater access to news content hence charging a larger subscription rate, but with no commercials. (This idea has been registered - only kidding)

    Noelle, you do bring up a wonderful point. Let us expand the idea from point of view of a self-employed journalist.

  3. Peter, this idea having a summit and having the print media decide as an industry what economic cost will be placed online content that is gathered by real journalists, and not just pundits, is brilliant. However, it is important for them (print media) to find a common ground on how these new revenues are going to be allocated and how the cost is going to be implemented based on this new business model. Maybe the summit should be call 'The J Summit?'

    March 30, 2009 6:13 PM

  4. Betty Curtis StilesApril 1, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Hi peter,
    it is interesting how we just seem to accept that newspapers are obsolete. it's as if we really believe that cbs nightly news is really nes. it is scary to think how little we value journalist and journalism. keep up the dialogue.

  5. Some of what newspaper's do is inform and be a watchdog on what is going on around us. Newspapers strive to be fair and accurate in all aspects of reporting. People who buy newspapers should be held to the same standard. Maybe before someone buys a paper they should have to go before a committee of journalists to be grilled on why they want to purchase the paper. A strong press equals a strong democracy, NOT profit=bonuses.