Fears have been expressed that the art of photography in regional newspapers “will die” after the industry’s last accredited course was shelved.
Lack of interest has ended the flagship NCTJ-accredited press photography and photojournalism courses at Norton College, Sheffield for the coming year.
And the demise of a similar course in Bournemouth has left aspiring photographers with nowhere to go to learn their craft.
Today, the industry’s most respected photographer trainer expressed fears of a ripple effect for local publishers.
Paul Delmar, responsible for launching hundreds of careers during a 30-year teaching career as a director of photography in Sheffield, said: “This is a real tragedy, not only for photographers, but also for newspapers. No NCTJ course means the art of photography in regional journalism will die.
“There is no future for regional newspapers if the job is not done right. If the photograph is diluted, the subsequent results will not even have the strength of water.
Paul added, in the photo on the left: “There is no doubt in my mind that without these courses for photographers, everyone will suffer. “
“If a journalist takes a photo to illustrate a story, he is not doing his own story justice. You ask a reporter how they would like their story to be best illustrated – and the answer is always with a photo taken by a skilled photographer.
His comments follow the closure of the Up To Speed journalism course in Bournemouth and Sheffield, canceling next year’s course after just five aspiring photographers applied for the 33-week degree.
College heads said photography and photojournalism courses at Norton – previously voted the country’s best press photography training center by the UK Picture Editors Guild – will be restored in September 2015 when the college closes and students are transferred to the Hillsborough College campus, which undergoes an £ 8.8m upgrade.
Norton Principal Heather Smith said, “We have written to the five applicants who have offered places for this year’s course to let them know. We are sorry for any disappointment caused.
Steve Phillips, NCTJ’s chief reviewer for press photography and photojournalism and group photo editor for the South Wales Evening Post, added: its relaunch next year.
The first NCTJ photography courses started at Wednesbury in the West Midlands by Birmingham Post and Mail photographer Eric Hale in the 1960s while the award-winning Sheffield course started under Eddie Bissell in 1979. Paul joined the team at conferences the following year, remaining until 2010.
Since then, NCTJ photography classes have run continuously at Norton College and its predecessors Stradbroke and Richmond.