Reuters Bans RAW Photo Submissions Because They Don’t ‘Reflect Reality’


Reuters is now asking its freelance photographers to no longer deliver images in RAW format. According to the news agency, it is aiming for authenticity and reality in its new reporting, and the best way to ensure that right now is to ban the use of RAW image files.

Reuters announced to freelancers that they must now deliver images in JPEG file format instead.

This is an interesting move because RAW image files are usually much better in quality when compared to JPEG. The form is also preferred by professional photographers due to the availability of more detail in each image.

According to PetaPixel, the reason Reuters is doing this has a lot to do with some photographers editing RAW image files, something that is not in line with the news agency's standards. This also falls under journalistic ethics, and for many years it has been questioned by some. Despite that, some folks believe banning RAW files is a drastic step because it does come with benefits.

JPEG files are not easily edited, and they are also on the small side. It means it should now be easier and faster for a photographer to send a JPEG image to Reuters since the file size will always be much smaller. Reuters did state that almost all RAW image files require editing, so when the photographer does not have to waste time doing that, things should move much faster.

Also, once a JPEG image file is saved, everything is locked and can no longer be edited, but some folks have found ways to do it, so Reuters is not yet on a home run.

The company is also banning CR2 files, so there is no way for photographers to get around this surprising ban.

"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," according to a partial Reuters note to freelance photographers.

Earlier this year, World Press Photo rejected 20 percent of all photo submissions in 2015 awards because they were different in some instances when compared to the unmodified RAW image file.

Photo: William Warby | Flickr

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