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(Pocket-lint) - The Chicago Sun-Times has so much faith and belief in the photographic capabilities of the iPhone that it has fired all of its 28-strong team of staff photographers.

The shock news, part of a cost-cutting programme for the newspaper, means that instead of relying on professional in-house photographers to snap the latest news events in Chicago, journalists will be sent to the scene of the action with an iPhone instead.

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"The Sun-Times business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements," the newspaper said in a statement. "The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network." 

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Robert Feder, the a media blogger in Chicago and formerly the Sun-Times' Media Critic, said: "Sun-Times reporters begin mandatory training today on 'iPhone photography basics' following elimination of the paper's entire photography staff," in a post to Facebook following a memo from the managing editor at the Sun-Times.

Reporters are to be sent on a mandatory iPhone photography basics training day to enable them get the most out of the Apple phone.

"In the coming days and weeks, we'll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need. These sessions will be mandatory and will concentrate on several areas: iPhone photography basics, Video and basic editing, Transmission and social media," the management memo said.

The company says it will still hire professional freelance photographers for some coverage, but will increasingly rely on reporters to take photos and video to accompany their stories.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 3 June 2013.