Freesheet 24timer closing its doors

Journalists from 24timer will join sister paper metroXpress after closure, though staff photographers will have to find a new home

The free commuter newspaper 24timer will print its last issue on Friday March 22, the newspaper’s management confirmed today.

But while the paper will be no more, the editorial staff will all find jobs at fellow freesheet metroXpress. Both papers are owned by Swiss media house Tamedia.

MetroXpress – the last remaining free-sheet in Copenhagen after its four competitors folded – will announce a relaunch today that is expected to see the paper adopt a more tabloid approach with a greater focus on local news.

But while the relaunch will be good news for journalists, editors and reporters, its photographers will have to find jobs elsewhere, as the paper's two staff photographers and a photography intern will be losing their jobs.

According to the editor-in-chief of metroXpress ,Jonas Kuld Rathje, the loss of the photographers will not weaken the newspaper.

“We have two talented photographers but they haven’t created a continual flow of images,” Rathje told the journalist union’s magazine, Journalisten. “This is because our combined consumption of images is so large that we use relatively few images that we create ourselves.”

According to Journalisten, Tamedia will now ask journalists to take photographs for their own stories while a photo editor will source the remaining necessary photographs from photo agencies.

“It will raise our quality as a photo editor will be able to find the best agency photographs for our articles,”  Rathje said.

While metroXpress is Denmark’s most-widely read daily newspaper, Rathje added that the move to fire their photographers is unlikely to affect what other Danish newspapers choose to do.

Despite this, Lars Lindskov, head of the photojournalist’s union, Pressefotografforbundet, said he was disappointed that metroXpress will no longer have any photographers on staff.

“Good photographs create added value and draw readers into the story,” Lindskov told Journalisten. “It’s disheartening that they are trading out quality for quantity.”