Russell Boyce is the Middle East and Africa editor for Reuters. However, his career as a photojournalist started off almost by chance.
Boyce studied at the University of Hull where he got a degree in Fine Arts. Painting, however, did not fulfill him and he spent much of his time at university, and beyond, creating documentaries. News photography was something that particularly appealed to Boyce, as he began to take more photos of court cases and death, whether that be high profile or otherwise.
His time at Reuters began following an interview in which he proclaimed to speak the “International language of charm” when asked about his foreign language skills. This job interview propelled Boyce into a long career at Reuters where he has done everything from international news photography all the way to his current position as the editor for Middle East and Africa.
During his talk at the London South Bank university, Boyce spent a good proportion of the talk stressing the crisis that photojournalism is going through.
The two biggest competitors that Reuters currently has are Getty and AP. In the photojournalism industry it is not so much the quality of the image that matters when it comes to breaking news, but is rather the speed that the image gets sent to the Reuters clients. Boyce mentioned a very specific example where the competitive aspect of the industry really kicked in.
The time it took for an image of the Pope to get from the Reuters photographers on the scene to the clients was 32 minutes. Boyce stressed that in those 32 minutes an image from the live TV stream will often be published by the clients before the image taken by a Reuters photographer will reach the newsroom.
Boyce summed up the current critical situation of photojournalism in the modern world when stating “If you’ve seen it you’re not going to pay for it”.