Our editors & readers talk
In connection with a proposed settlement before the Iranian Tehran Province Criminal Court of a proceeding against Reuters Bureau Chief Parisa Hafezi, Reuters has issued the following statement.
Reuters again expresses, as it has in prior statements and in evidence presented to the Court, its regret for the error made in the television script for our report distributed on February 18, 2012 about the Budekan Ninja Club.
The error was a product of mistakes by our producer in Tehran, who no longer works for Reuters. We have taken steps in adjusting our internal processes to avoid making such errors again.
Reuters also wishes again to make clear that Ms. Hafezi, who is the sole defendant in the proceedings before the Court, had no role in or responsibility for the production of this script or the accompanying video.
from Isaac Esipisu:
By Aaron Maasho
Ethiopia and Eritrea are still at each others’ throats. The two neighbours fought hammer and tongs in sun-baked trenches during a two-year war over a decade ago, before a peace deal ended their World War I-style conflict in 2000. Furious veRed Sea, UNrbal battles, however, have continued to this day.
Yet, amid the blistering rhetoric and scares over a return to war, analysts say the feuding rivals are reluctant to lock horns once again. Neighbouring South Sudan and some Ethiopian politicians are working on plans to bring both sides to the negotiating table.
from Africa News blog:
By Cosmas Butunyi
The dust is finally settling on the storm that was kicked off in South Africa by a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.
The country that boasts one of the most liberal constitutions in the world and the only one on the African continent with a constitutional provision that protects and defends the rights of gays and lesbians , had its values put up to the test after an artist ruffled feathers by a painting that questioned the moral values of the ruling African National Congress .
from Africa News blog:
By Clyde Russell
The idea that Australia is a more dangerous place for mining investment than Mali might seem strange to most observers, but that's exactly the view of the boss of the world's third-biggest gold producer.
Mark Cutifani, the chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti, said last week he was more concerned about government policies toward mining in Australia than about nationalism in Africa.
On the face of it, this is an extraordinary comment that has gone largely unreported by both the Australian and international media.
How can it possibly be that Australia, a stable Western democracy with rule of law, independent courts and a culture of vigorous debate, is a more risky place than countries like Mali, which had a military coup last month and is battling an insurgency by Tuareg separatists?
Of course, it may be that Cutifani, an Australian-born mining engineer who has headed the Johannesburg-based company since October 2007, was ramping up the rhetoric to make a point when he talked to reporters on March 27 in Perth, capital of the resource-rich state of Western Australia.
But this would appear to be at odds with his previous record of speaking sensibly about the gold-mining industry while remaining an advocate of the interests of his global company.
The point Cutifani was probably trying to drive home is that the debate in Australia over its vast mineral resources appears to have veered off-track and descended into political point-scoring.
"The politicians and we as industry leaders are missing each other," the Australian Associated Press quoted him as saying. "Somehow, we've got to land this discussion and stop the class warfare-type conversations and turn the conversations into constructive dialogue about the future of the country and the industry."
To be fair, Cutifani has also lobbied against proposals for a resource rent tax in South Africa and moves to raise taxes in other African countries where AngloGold operates, such as Ghana and Mali.
But for Australia, the background to his comments is an intensifying war of words between Wayne Swan, the treasurer in the Labor Party-led minority government, and mining magnates over the new Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) and the carbon tax.
Both these taxes are due to start on July 1 and have raised the ire of many industries and the opposition Liberal Party.
The MRRT will impose a 30 percent levy on so-called super profits of large coal and iron ore, and doesn't yet include other producers such as gold miners.
The carbon tax will impose a price of A$23 on the emissions of the top 500 polluters, to be phased in, while reducing income taxes for poorer households in order to offset the expected increase in energy costs.
The Labor Party, which has slumped in opinion polls partly over public disquiet over the new taxes and a broken promise not to introduce a carbon tax by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, appears to be following the tactic of stoking the politics of envy as a distraction method.
Since the financial crisis that sparked the global recession in 2008 it has been easy for politicians to attack the rich and blame untrammeled greed for the economic carnage.
In Australia, the target is billionaire mining barons and Swan attacked iron ore magnates Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest as well as coal developer Clive Palmer in an essay published last month.
Interestingly enough, Swan didn't attack BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, the two global miners that led initial opposition to a stiffer resource tax that was watered down after Gillard deposed former prime minister Kevin Rudd in a party-room coup.
Swan accused the billionaires of trying to use their wealth to "distort public policy," apparently without any sense of irony, given that he was using his position as the second-most powerful politician in Australia to do the same.
It seems to me that Australia would benefit from a more sensible debate on how to ensure the mineral wealth is developed in a way that rewards the owners of capital that take the risks of developing projects as well the overall economy and citizens in general.
Debate in Australia appears to be driven by short-term political cycles, with federal elections every three years leading politicians to focus more on spin than sound policies.
Is the MRRT the best design that could have been implemented?
Will it raise sufficient revenue without leading to less investment, and will it help ensure the long-term viability of mining?
Should the revenue it raises be used to fund a one percentage point cut in the company tax rate, as Labor proposes, or would it be better put toward building a sovereign wealth fund?
These are all valid points for debate, but aren't getting a hearing in Australia currently.
Instead, as AngloGold's Cutifani pointed out, there is an unedifying mud-slinging match that does little to enhance the reputations of either Swan or his targets.
On Tuesday Editor-in-Chief of Reuters News Stephen J. Adler interviewed Jack Welch, CEO of Jack Welch, LLC at the 92nd Street Y. The topic of their conversation was “The Global Century.” To hear what they had to say please watch the video below.
Welch was named CEO of General Electric in 1981 and held the position for more than 20 years. During his tenure there the company’s market capitalization rose from $13 billion to $400 billion. In 2000, he was named “Manager of the Century” by Fortune magazine. In 2001, he wrote his number one New York Times and international best-selling autobiography, Jack: Straight from the Gut. Recently, he launched the Jack Welch Management Institute, a unique online MBA program.
Last night we honored our 2010 Journalists of the Year. What a moving ceremony it was, and I am so proud of the achievements of our winners.
As I look back on 2010, my final full year as Reuters Editor-in-Chief, I’m struck by how journalists and news organizations have been challenged with a steady stream of high-impact, global stories. The 3,000 men and women of Reuters answered those challenges.
By David A. Schlesinger
Another year has sped by with more change and economic uncertainty throughout the global markets. From a journalist’s viewpoint, 2010 has been filled with some of the most dynamic and complex stories to cover — the euro zone debt crisis, the U.S. midterm elections, currency wars, heart-warming heroism such as the Chile miners rescue and heart-breaking tragedies like that of the Haiti earthquake.
As a news organization during these turbulent times, Reuters has invested aggressively in transforming our news priorities and coverage tactics to ensure we are meeting the needs of the 21st century professional audience. Our aim is to best understand your workflow — what news you use, when you use it and how we can package and present our stories to best suit your needs.
Below is the keynote speech Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger delivered today to the International News Safety Institute
Death came screaming out of the sky on July 12, 2007.
Two Apache helicopter gunships operating more than 500 metres away from a group of men fired their 30 mm cannon and that was it.
This is the text of a talk I gave to a seminar hosted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford on October 22nd.
Challenges of reporting politics for an international audience
I am not here to talk about what I don’t know so I will largely reflect on my work at Reuters, although I hope to offer insights that might apply to other news organisations that distribute across borders, in particular other international news service such as Dow Jones and Bloomberg, but perhaps also the Financial Times, the Economist, or even the BBC World Service.
The UK’s Media Standards Trust asks if it matters that there is less foreign reporting being done by British reporters and printed in the British press. Yes, according to David Loyn, the BBC’s International Development correspondent and author of a foreword to an MST report entitled ‘Shrinking World’. Ignorance encourages insular values, aka prejudices, and the British voter will be discouraged from developing the understanding needed to cope in a fast-changing world, argues Loyn.
US journalism academics have long lamented that US newspapers can no longer afford the large networks of foreign correspondents they once deployed and have speculated on the cost to society of poor decision-making driven by the ignorance of the electorate. The MST’s report tries to quantify the extent of the decline of foreign stories in the UK print media (40 percent over three decades) but does not venture similar gloomy political analysis. Apart from Loyn’s concerns, the MST’s Martin Moore suggests just that extensive awareness of foreign issues will become the preserve of elites who read the likes of the Financial Times and the Economist, which have made a selling point of maintaining international coverage. Perhaps the difference between the US and Britain is the continued public service mission of the BBC that requires it to provide independent and impartial foreign reporting, which still has a large domestic audience on radio and television. There is no equivalent in the US, where mainstream television offers a selective and incomplete view of foreign news and NPR’s strong reporting has limited reach.