Reuters Ditches North American Sports Photogs, Strikes Deal with USA Today


Freelance sports photographers who have been on contract with Reuters in North America have been receiving some unpleasant calls over the past couple of days. Apparently, due to a new deal between Thomson Reuters and USA Today Sports Images, they are being systematically informed that their photographic services are no longer needed.

According to the National Press Photographers Association, starting on September 15th, all of Reuters sports images for North America will come directly from USA Today Sports Images, making it unnecessary for the company to continue hiring out their own photographers to cover professional and college sports.


Although not even Reuters clients have been told — instead, they’re finding out through the grapevine and confirming with the photographers they have worked with for years — a source within Sports Illustrated’s photography department confirmed the news for the NPPA, and offered a little bit of insight.

According to this source, all Reuters sports photographers who work primarily in North America will now be assigned to new, non-sports beats. They will, however, still be able to cover sports outside of North America.

When he heard the news, Toronto freelancer and Reuters photographer Jon Blacker got in touch with Reuters’ North American Sports Photo Editor, Peter Jones, to confirm. “He said it was purely a business decision,” Blacker told the NPPA. “And that their business plan calls for using the money that Reuters saves on covering sports to re-invest in photo covering more news.”

By Blacker’s estimation, between 30 and 50 photographers are on that call list and will be affected by this decision.

(via NPPA)

Image credit: Photographer on the field. by julie.froo

  • Stefan Nilsson

    Natural decision. There’s no need for every newspaper in the world to have their own photographer at events. Share the photos, share the costs – and survive.

  • Killroyâ„¢

    So if every newspaper has the exact same picture, since there is only one photographer, how are they suppose to stand apart. There was a time that newspapers & magazines took pride in the abilities of their photo staffs and the fact that they kicked the other papers butt when they got a picture the other paper did not.

  • Rabi Abonour

    Reuters is a wire; they already represent a consolidation.

    This move may be good business, but it’s a disheartening sign in a photojournalism industry that is already hyper-competitive.

  • Eugene Chok

    papers a much more regional, you make it seem like there are 5 international papers rather then a bunch of localized newspapers, the people in sydney dont need a different cover image then from a paper in new york

  • Carl Meyer

    Applying the same reasoning English speaking readers don’t need a localized texts either, imagine the time and money savings without having to reword all those articles.

  • John Sommers

    The issues is, if there is only one source, how do you know they are giving you the true picture of the event. Is that one source good enough to cover what they are being asked to do and do they have the resources to do it right. Do they have the ethics to cover it as it is with out and agenda for the home team or advertisers. There are places that only have on source of News/Sports coverage that is dictated by only one source, how’s that working out.

  • Dennis Calvert

    Understandable line of thinking for political and social issues… But sports? Who gives a damn?

  • Ralph Hightower

    Gannet Media wins. North America loses.
    Oh well, there’s the AP…

  • Eugene Chok

    that’s if one language can easily and accurately be directly translated, which is of course impossible, google translate has clearly proven that, that and any subtitled film ever

  • yodaddyzombieg

    in this day an age real photographers are being fired and replaced with morons with cell phones or crowd sourced from joe and jane schmuck for free. why pay when you can get untrained, unskilled fools to give up their crappy cell phone pictures for free. I see photography getting worst with kids ages 8-16 each with a cell phone and crappy 5-8mp camera and 20 apps to make their pics even more crappy there is no real photography left in the coming years so even hacks with dslr’s will be able to make big bank because no one will know with REAL photography is any more.

  • John_Skinner

    Just stop and imagine if you can….. all the really epic photos that have been captured by just ONE shooter at an event with 50 or 60 guys.. Now imagine the future of events with 2 or 4 guys covering it.. There are some guys that shoot, and you can readily identify their work just flipping a page.. All gone. I hate progress.