Reuters has implemented a new policy in which it'll no longer accept photos from freelance photographers that were originally shot in RAW (or CR2) formats.
In a brief e-mail from a Reuters Photos editor, the news agency said photographers are free to shoot RAW images but they also need to take a JPEG at the same time and to only send over the latter format with minimal processing (cropping, correcting levels, etc.).
A spokesperson for Reuters confirmed the policy change with PetaPixel.
Reuters said the change was made to increase ethics and speed. As eyewitness accounts of events and in line with its Photographer's Handbook and the Thomas Reuters Trust Principles, the publication implores that its images reflect reality. Or in other words, it doesn't want freelancers manipulating photos in post-processing in a manner that exaggerates or otherwise falsely portrays actual events.
By shooting in the compressed JPEG format, photographers will be able to skip time-consuming processing so the publication can get pictures to their clients faster.
Shooting RAW, sometimes referred to as digital negatives, is preferred by the overwhelming majority of professional photographers. The unprocessed format includes all of the data recorded when an image is captured, thus allowing for greater flexibility for correction and general manipulation when post-processing in a program like Lightroom or Photoshop.
The problem, as Reuters' new policy highlights, is that some photojournalists go a bit overboard to the point that the truth is stretched.
Image courtesy Alistair Grant, Associated Press