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Reuters bans raw photo formats

Reuters has introduced a new policy that bans news pictures processed from digital photo formats which allow increased opportunities for manipulation.

Photographers must now send only photos that were originally saved to their cameras as JPEG files.

Freelance photographers were told by a Reuters pictures editor: “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)."

A Reuters spokesperson said: “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.

“As eyewitness accounts of events covered by dedicated and responsible journalists, Reuters Pictures must reflect reality. While we aim for photography of the highest aesthetic quality, our goal is not to artistically interpret the news.”

Restricting photographers to original JPEGs will also reduce the time it takes for photos to go from camera to client.

“Speed is also very important to us," the spokesperson said. "We have therefore asked our photographers to skip labour and time-consuming processes to get our pictures to our clients faster.”

RAW photos allow for a greater degree of post-processing flexibility, photography website PetaPixel said, “so based on the new policy, it appears that Reuters found that photos processed from RAWs are more likely to distort the truth.” ■