I wrote Mr. Baumann, executive editor of the Evansville Courier & Press, in regards to the article in News Photographer. He quickly returned my email with the following response:
Certainly photojournalism takes extra effort to perfect the discipline, but when someone interviews with me and hasn’t read a book (except in school), doesn’t have a hobby and can’t discuss world issues, I find that person to be boring. A boring person may be able to make pictures for awhile that are interesting, but it’s not long before they start to shoot the same pictures over and over again. Randy Olson had a degree in the Classics. Tom Ondrey graduated from Harvard with a degree in business. Bob Lynn wanted to be a sports writer. Steve Mellon was a sports writer and local news reporter before turning to photography. Several of the other photographers at the old Pittsburgh Press had undergraduate degrees that were leading them toward architecture. Two other graduated with degrees in psychology. All of them had a life outside of photojournalism. It made them interesting people. I hope this clarifies my position. Good luck.