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Red Cross Red Crescent and Reuters sign picture exchange agreement
04 December 2003

Geneva/London: Global information group Reuters and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today announced an agreement to exchange photos between the two organizations.

The agreement - signed in Geneva on the eve of International Volunteers Day - will result in greatly-enhanced coverage of the work of humanitarian volunteers.

Under the agreement, Reuters will get use of pictures taken by Red Cross Red Crescent photographers from emergency operations worldwide and other humanitarian activities. These will be used on the Reuters pictures wire, opening up global uptake of pictures featuring Red Cross Red Crescent work.

Additionally, the International Federation will get access to the Reuters Pictures Archive (RPA), allowing it free use of images in the Reuters database. This service is expected to be of great use to illustrate web news stories, magazines and other publications. The International Federation will inform Reuters bureaux about activities, field assessments, programmes and campaigns that may be of interest. Reuters will also be able to accompany International Federation missions to crisis areas.

Reuters AlertNet ( - a news portal for humanitarian response agencies - will also benefit from the International Federation's strength of membership. All national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that sign up as members of AlertNet will be able to request pictures from the RPA, which means that AlertNet will benefit from increased membership while national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will benefit from free use of RPA images.

Geert Linnebank, Reuters Editor in Chief, comments: "The International Federation and Reuters believe in impartiality and independence and have global reach. Pooling our resources will result in wider coverage of humanitarian crises."

Markku Niskala, the International Federation's secretary general said: "This agreement is a very welcome development. It represents a mutually beneficial partnership between the world's largest humanitarian organization and one of the world's oldest and most respected news organizations."