This item has been updated to include a scathing editorial about The Oklahoman from The Lost Ogle (link.)
Last May after I covered the Byng Pirates state championship game in Edmond, Oklahoma, I went by the offices of The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper, and visited for a while with my longtime friend and fellow photographer Jim Beckel. He told me about the paper’s early-90s move to a huge, expansive and expensive facility on the Broadway extension, which for years we called “the Taj Mahal,” and the paper’s move a few years ago to a much smaller facility in the center of downtown Oklahoma City.
The move to downtown represented a cascade of downsizing at The Oklahoman, and today we learned that 35-year veteran photographers Steve Gooch and Paul Hellstern were laid off. I was a little stung by this news, though not surprised.
Steve and Paul are brilliant photographers, and I am sympathetic with their plights. So many of their photographs are like so many of mine, and I was once laid off, in 1988, so I am feeling particularly empathetic.
In my opinion, in a world of billions of not-very-good photos every day, photojournalists provide one of the last sources for truly great photography.
Finally, my friend Tracy Nicole Holman passed away today after a lengthy illness. She was young and beautiful and I was always glad to see her.
The last thing she posted to social media was, “Eating a piece of candy found in the jeans that had a run through the washer…. I’ll live, right??!!”
I am feeling very sad that she is gone. She was just 31.