Reuters will no longer accept edited Raw files from freelance photographers
In an email to freelance photojournalists this week, Reuters has confirmed a change in its photo submission policy requesting that photographers submit out-of-camera JPEGs rather than JPEGs created from Raw files to the news agency. The message states that original JPEGs with ‘minimal processing’ are acceptable, for example, level corrections and cropping.
A Reuters spokesperson spoke with PetaPixel, saying that the aim of the new policy is to increase speed in getting photos from the camera to client, as well as to maintain a high ethical standard. Reuters’ Photographer’s Handbook details which edits may and may not be applied by photographer. The list of acceptable adjustments includes cropping (as long as journalistic integrity is maintained), minor use of levels and curves adjustments, minor brightness and contrast adjustments, and downsizing photos to fit 3500 pixels longest edge. We’ve reached out to Reuters for clarification, specifically regarding the reported ban on images created from Raw files which – on the face of it – doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Although it is possible to adjust Raw files to a much greater extent than JPEGs without undue quality loss, it is also much easier to establish whether an image converted from Raw has been over-adjusted (or unethically edited) than an OOC JPEG, simply by comparing against the original Raw file.