Sorry, Jared Polin, it looks like Reuters photographers won’t be shooting RAW anymore.
In an email sent out to freelance photographers, Reuters says it will no longer accept photos post-processed from RAW camera files. Instead, the international news agency says it will only accept JPEG images with ‘minimal processing’.
The email sent out reads:
I’d like to pass on a note of request to our freelance contributors due to a worldwide policy change.. In future, please don’t send photos to Reuters that were processed from RAW or CR2 files. If you want to shoot raw images that’s fine, just take JPEGs at the same time. Only send us the photos that were originally JPEGs, with minimal processing (cropping, correcting levels, etc).
In a statement made to PetaPixel, a Reuters spokesperson confirmed this news, writing:
As photojournalists working for the world’s largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters Pictures photographers work in line with our Photographer’s Handbook and the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles […] While we aim for photography of the highest aesthetic quality, our goal is not to artistically interpret the news.
This policy change is not only to deter overzealous post-processing, but to also speed up the process, ensuring photos spend as little time between capture and presentation as possible – the make it or breaking point of global news.
It’s important to point out that Reuters doesn’t ban any photographers from shooting RAW files entirely. This gives photojournalists free reign to shoot both RAW and JPEG at the same time – one file for sending off and one for archival purposes.
This specific detail could also become a loophole of sorts. Both Canon and Nikon cameras are capable of processing RAW photos into JPEGs in-camera. Combine this process with custom-made profiles, and photojournalists could very easily shoot RAW photos, then choose from one of the pre-defined profiles to give it a certain aesthetic – a process analogous to choosing a film stock.
Considering this would all be done in-camera, and the result would be a JPEG file, it technically wouldn’t violate Reuters’ new policy, so long as the custom profile doesn’t violate the ‘minimal processing’ rule.