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Reuters switches North American sports photo coverage

Reuters news pictures is changing the way it covers sports in North America. Starting mid-September, it will rely on a live feed of all sports photographs provided by USA Today Sports Images.

Peter Jones, North American sports photo editor, on Friday told freelance photographers who have been shooting sports on contract that their services will no longer be needed from 15 September, when the USA Today agreement takes effect. The freelancers have covered National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and National Basketball Association games and some college sports.

“The photographers I’ve been working with will no longer be providing that content,” a source inside the Sports Illustrated photography department in New York told News Photographer magazine. Reuters staff photographers who have been shooting sports in North America will be re-assigned to non-sports beats. But they will still be able to shoot sports outside North America, the SI editor was told.

Toronto freelancer Jon Blacker, who spoke to Jones on Friday, told the National Press Photographers Association: “He said it was purely a business decision, and that their business plan calls for using the money that Reuters saves on covering sports to re-invest in photo covering more news.”

USA Today Sports Imagines is part of USA Today Media Group owned by newspaper and television company Gannett. ■

National Press Photographers Association