Kim Komenich says he had been preparing to leave the Chronicle for more than a year before he accepted a buyout in April. Within a couple of weeks, he was offered a tenure-track assistant professorship in multimedia at his alma mater, San Jose State University. In this Q&A on the Web site of former Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer explains what led up to his decision to leave the Chronicle.
Here’s a quote that stands out:
- I’ve always told students that it’s healthier to think of yourself as a photographer who happens to work for a newspaper, and not a “newspaper photographer.” When I first said it I was stressing the preservation of the photographer’s vision and spirit in the face of daily assignments. At this point in the evolution of photojournalism it might be that photographers who value their long-term projects might consider moving way from newspapers and into academia. Universities throughout the country expect their professors to “publish or perish,” but some schools offer “creative research” as an alternative to publishing traditional scholarly articles. This means that at some schools you’re teaching for nine months and producing documentary books films and exhibitions the rest of the year.