David's Feed
Apr 23, 2010
via UK News

Welcome to the new Reuters.co.uk

Reuters is a news power house – our 2,800 journalists in 190 different bureaus around the world are dedicated to being the indispensable news source. News has been in our blood for more than a century and a half, but we’ve always been restlessly innovating and always looking to the future.

For Reuters.co.uk, the future is now.

This is our redesign, over a year in the making. That’s over a year of extensive discussions with people like you, our elite audience of business professionals, about what would make the site better and faster and easier to use for you as you drive business activity around the world.

Apr 21, 2010
via Reuters Editors

What I want from the Pentagon

This op-ed by Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger appeared in The Guardian.

When Wikileaks published the harrowing video of the deaths in Iraq of my colleagues Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his assistant and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, the world finally had the transparency it should have had about this tragedy.

It was impossible for me to watch and not feel outrage and great sorrow – but this is not about trying to tell anyone else what to feel. This is about trying to find out exactly what happened and how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Apr 12, 2010
via Reuters Editors

Another dreadful loss in the Reuters family

The following is the text of a staff email sent this morning by Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger.

The news that our colleague, Hiro Muramoto, was shot and killed covering the violence in Bangkok broke on Saturday.

Apr 6, 2010
via Reuters Editors

Video of our colleagues’ death in Iraq

The following is the text of an email from Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger:

The video of our colleagues, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh, being killed in Iraq in 2007 was difficult and disturbing to watch but also important to watch.

Dec 4, 2009
via From Reuters.com

Welcome to our new home


Reuters is a news power house – our 2,800 journalists in 190 different bureaus around the world are dedicated to being the indispensable news source. News has been in our blood for more than a century and a half, but we’ve always been restlessly innovating and always looking to the future.

For Reuters.com, the future is now.

This is our redesign, a year in the making. That’s a year of extensive discussions with people like you, our elite audience of business professionals, about what would make the site better and faster and easier to use for you as you drive business activity around the world.

Oct 8, 2009
via Reuters Editors

Transparency and the role of media in China


The following is the text of a speech to be given to the Xinhua World Media Summit on October 9. David Schlesinger is the Editor-in-Chief of Reuters.Ladies and Gentlemen:It is my great honour to address this gathering here today in Beijing.Reuters association with China began in the 19th century, when the agency began supplying financial and commodities information to clients here.By the 1930’s, Shanghai was our Asian headquarters.Today, our offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong provide vibrant newsgathering for our global clients who demand information about this vital economy and provide centres for Chinese clients whose need for reliable and instant information about the world’s finances is intense.From the beginning, Reuters Chinese name was important. 路透社 – the 透 that is the key second character is part of several important words, each of which is central to our mission“Penetrating”, “thorough” and “transparent” – these are the concepts that we bring to our reporting; these are the concepts that media in China as elsewhere in the world must strive for.The financial crisis of the beginning of the 21st century has proven again that the Media’s role in providing the transparency necessary for a healthy market economy is vital.While this concept has been part of Reuters name and our mission for more than a century and a half, the world of course is much different from when we moved reports using carrier pigeons and the telegraph.The old world of national markets, operating within limited and largely ring- fenced pools of capital is dead. In the 21st century, financial markets are global and integrated– but still fiercely competitive.Investments shift, at the touch of a trading keyboard, from one market to another, and from one asset class to another. No national government any longer has complete control of economic policy, and no company, person or organisation has unchallenged access to available capital. Financial markets are global.Commenting on the challenges this environment creates for China’s financial sector, Premier Wen Jiabao has said:“It is a long-term task to build a capital market that is transparent, efficient, rational in structure, perfect in function and safe in operation.”Efficiently informed and transparent financial markets are also healthy, sound, orderly and internationally competitive financial markets. These were the lessons of the 1997 Asian crisis, and are once again the lessons of the current global crisis.The role of financial media is central to delivering the objectives of informed and transparent financial markets, as well as the social stability that depends upon economic success.For China, the increasing internationalisation of financial markets has at least two dimensions relevant to financial information.First, Chinese markets participants and investors need to be efficiently informed about foreign markets, while second, their non-Chinese counterparts overseas need to be efficiently informed about China.Mutual benefit and success depend upon this reciprocal relationship.It is noteworthy, for example, that China has permitted more Chinese funds to invest in international equities than it has permitted foreign investors to invest in the Chinese stock market.Accurate and comprehensive information about foreign financial markets is therefore particularly critical for markets professionals in China.To provide some examples about the increasing global linkage of financial markets news:US consumption data has become a reliable proxy indicator of the volume of China’s exports, with direct relevance to stock market prices in China.Likewise, the announcement by China last November that it was to launch a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package caused sharp rises on stock markets not only in China, but all around the world.Recent news that China has been taking action against polluting metals smelters caused prices on the London Metals Exchange to soar.Even a seemingly low-key announcement such as China offering subsidies to producers of solar power equipment can cause major stock market rises for shares in non-Chinese companies active in this field.The integration of China into global financial markets presents numerous challenges for financial media, on which the financial markets depend. But it also presents some challenges for Chinese policy makers to create the optimal conditions in which financial media can operate to respond efficiently to the needs of both Chinese and non-Chinese markets professionals and investors.Let me respectfully suggest a few areas where China could take steps to facilitate the quality of financial information and reinforce the contribution of financial media:

    Greater discipline around the public release of official statistics:

Economic statistics are, of course, of critical relevance to financial markets. Still too frequently in China, rumours about statistics circulate for several days before their official release. Often the rumours later turn out to have been correct. Those “insiders” with access to the rumours enjoy unfair trading advantages over those who do not.

The correct policy response is not to punish the media for reporting the rumours, but instead to ensure that the processes and safeguards around the release of statistics are tightened. Indeed, where rumours are influencing the market, the financial media has a duty to report them –as rumours– so that the market as a whole, and not just a section of insiders, is informed, understands why the market is moving in a particular direction, and can take appropriate action to safeguard their investments.

Aug 7, 2009
via Reuters Editors

Giant shoulders and the chain of knowledge


The new world is not so different from the old world – it just moves faster and in different ways.As early as the 12th century, the image of dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants came into discourse to mean that all knowledge advances based on the discoveries of the past.In academia and in journalism that notion has been coupled with the doctrine of attribution – you need to acknowledge the shoulders you’re standing on, to give due credit but also to allow others to search out that perch and see if their view from it is any different.To me, the current debate about the “Link Economy” in content terms is about:Are you part of the conversation?Are you adding to the debate or just playing postman and passing others’ views on?Are you adding value and …Are you getting rewarded for adding the value you do?As head of a journalistic army of 2,700 professionals I obviously have an intense vested interest in ensuring that their work is valuable to readers and valued by them.Part of that involves ensuring that they are in the centre of the action and that they fill their reports with their expertise and experience. Part of that involves ensuring that they are part of the debate, that their reports inform the debate and that the debate, in turn, informs their future reporting.Our standards on sourcing have always emphasized the importance of giving proper credit, even when quoting from competitors. And, of course, we expect the same in return.In the writing we do specifically for the web we’re as open to outbound linking as we are to the inbound (see Felix Salmon for some good examples). Much of our other writing doesn’t currently use outbound links because of the particular ecosystem of our professional products, for which a lot of it is specifically written. But that, I am sure, will change over time.The real danger in not being extremely open to linking, it seems to me, is that by moving yourself out of the mainstream debate you risk irrelevancy.There will be other shoulders to stand on.Those shoulders will be the ones that provide the lift.Those shoulders will be the ones that will help advance knowledge and debate.The fact that today the crediting can be done with a hyperlink is to me intellectually no different than the use of an academic footnote or a traditional journalistic “…according to XYZ in an interview”. It’s just better, because it’s fast, direct and creates an instant chain of knowledge.What’s more interesting to me is what one does with the link, not the link itself.I have a passing interest in the link or retweet that simply passes a nugget along.I have a bit more interest when the linker or retweeter extracts real gold that was hidden in the original and gives it more prominence.I have a lot more interest when the link or retweet uses the original as a jumping off point for argument, debate, or development.That’s when it gets interesting.And that’s when we, too, stand on that tower of giant shoulders people started visualising in the 12th century.

    • About David

      "David Schlesinger (April 15, 1960 - ) was Editor-in-Chief of Reuters news from January 2007 to January 2011. He is now the chairman of Thomson Reuters China. David joined Reuters in 1987 in Hong Kong as a correspondent. Prior to that, he ran Reuters editorial operations in Taiwan, China and the Greater China region between 1989 and 1995 and then worked in New York for nine years before moving to London."
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