Reuters Raw File Ban Means Nothing
Is there really a Reuters raw file ban?
This week, Petapixel published a misleading article titled “Reuters Issues a Worldwide Ban on RAW Photos.” The article caused an uproar in the greater photography community. However, reading the article and understanding Reuters’ role as a news organization shows that the “ban” is nothing to be worried about.
Many people confuse the work they do in their photographic genres with the news work done by freelance photographers. Newspaper photographers typically had to work quicker than contemplative, hence the term, “F8 and don’t be late.” The clarification from Reuters is consistent with that speedy approach that has existed since photography was part of the photojournalism business.
The Reuters stand on their freelance photographers is primarily there for speed. News organizations have to move quick, and in a world with cell phone photography, news photography has to be posted almost instantly. There just isn’t time for raw editing.
It was also missed by many people that the Reuters pictures editor did mention the option many of used, the ability to shoot raw+jpeg. Freelance photographers still have the option to quick provide images to their news organization of choice, and have their raw files at home for more contemplative editing.
It is also understandable that a news organization wants to avoid the chance of an edited image not being accurate, and with modern image editing, the ability to make those changes is easier.
If you’re part of the 99.9% of the photo community that isn’t doing freelance photojournalism, this supposed Reuters raw file ban means nothing, and it is not really a ban to begin with. Just keep shooting your images in the manner that fits your artistic workflow. Raw files will always be the best way to get the most out of your photography.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.