Reuters is providing eight grants to ensure broad, open and multi-faceted coverage of the way the world works.
In photojournalism, who’s behind the camera can matter as much as what’s in front of it.
That’s why Reuters recently created a new program to provide eight USD$5,000 grants to budding photojournalists or photojournalism students. The grants will be used to help new talent enter the profession and ensure the Reuters photography perspective remains wide, open and all-encompassing.
“As a global news agency, our strength as a business comes from the talent, ideas and experience of our people,” said John Pullman, global head of video and pictures for Reuters. “We want to recruit diverse candidates to work as Reuters Pictures photographers because we are constantly looking for human stories from new perspectives. The best way to find these is to work with photographers from different cultures, from different backgrounds and from different parts of the world.”
When does opportunity knock?
For Yannis Behrakis, now senior editor, special projects for Reuters, opportunity first came in the form of a basketball tournament.
In the late 1980s, Behrakis landed a gig covering a European basketball championship as a freelancer for Reuters. He was otherwise employed, but thought this could be the chance he needed.
“I jumped in, and I guessed they liked my work,” he said.
Three months later Behrakis was hired as a stringer (a freelancer with whom a media organization has a regular relationship) and a year later, he was hired full-time. He has now been with Reuters for almost three decades. Behrakis, who is based in Athens, was part of the Reuters photography team that won the 2016 Breaking News Photography Pulitzer Prize for its work covering the immigration crisis in Greece.
“For me, I took my chances,” Behrakis said. “I was pretty successful in my previous job, but I made a decision based on what I wanted to do in my life. Nothing was guaranteed.”
Stories of breaking into photojournalism often contain an element of hope – hope that the right opportunities will come along and risk will be rewarded. Behrakis said he wants to be part of helping the next generation of photojournalists.
“The chances are still there. Maybe not as many, but they’re still there,” he said. “I think we have an obligation to make sure that new photographers can find their way into the profession.”
The grants are available to photojournalists with nascent careers specifically so the program can cast a wide net and provide an entrance to photojournalists whose promise outmatches their resume.
“I wasn’t a professional photojournalist when I started,” Behrakis said. “I knew photography, I knew the technical part, but I didn’t know about photojournalism. I want to see people who have the talent and the eye for photography, even if they haven’t gotten to the professional photojournalism part yet. I want to see a new generation.”
Interested in applying?
Interested applicants are asked to submit a CV and a portfolio of no more than 50 images (JPEG format) illustrating both single-image and multi-image stories, as well as a detailed cover letter explaining the project for which the grant would be use. Visit the application site to apply.