Reuters cuts sports freelancers in North America, signs deal with USA Today Sports Images


posted Monday, August 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM EST


Freelance photographers working the sports beat for Reuters have found themselves without a job, according to a report by the NPPA. Apparently, Reuters will no longer require sports photographers in North America, after signing a contract with USA Today Sports Images for the wire service's sideline needs.

According to the report, photographers started getting calls on Friday from Peter Jones, the North American Sports Photo Editor at Thomson Reuters, informing them that their services would no longer be required after September 15. Apparently, Reuters' sports clients weren't informed of the change, but were hearing it through the grapevine.

The new deal is limited to North America, so sports photographers for Reuters in other locations are unaffected. However, for freelance sports photographers across the USA, Canada and (assumedly) Mexico, this means a major disruption. Between pro- and college-level games, that's an awful lot of coverage which Reuters will now be getting from USATSI instead of from its own people.

This change takes place against a larger milieu of photographers being cut from major journalism sources. Earlier this year, the Chicago Sun Times cut its entire photography staff, replacing them with extremely low-paid freelancers.

It's not clear how many photographers are being hit by the change, but hopefully they'll be able to take their skills elsewhere.