Our editors & readers talk
Think back a century and news needs and news methods were completely different.
Just think that the first airmail flight between Britain and Hong Kong did not land until 1936. And yet today at my home in London I get a rich and vibrant stream of news, photographs, stories and gossip from Asia into my home via Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader and then all the more long-established methods of journalism. It is a cornucopia.
But the problem with any over-flowing horn is that it is really only scarcity that creates the awareness of value.
And in fact, the profession of journalism is losing both value and respect.
The latest Gallup poll showed a record-high 57% of Americans saying they had little or no trust in the mass media to do what the media has always proclaimed to be its primary mission – to report fully, accurately and fairly.
Instead people look to the friends – their community – for information, for validation, for argument and for illumination.
The following is a guest column by Chris Ahearn, President, Media at Thomson Reuters.
Last summer, I published a blog post that laid out my feelings about the link economy and its positive contribution to the evolution of the business of journalism. One year later, Reuters.com continues to encourage linking to the rich content we offer and even pulling interesting excerpts for discussion in a different forum. In exchange for that occasional use of our content, we ask others to respect the hard work our journalists put into their craft and in some cases risk their lives in doing so by offering prominent links and attribution.
Thirty years ago this Wednesday, I was sitting, chain smoking, in the basement of a children’s needlework school in Kensington, London. It was a few doors away from the Iranian Embassy, which for six days had been under siege as six Iranian dissidents held two dozen hostages captive. Five days earlier, on April 30th, I had been released from the embassy after suffering what the hostage-takers, and myself, thought was a heart attack, though it was probably self-induced through terror and self survival.
The needlework school had another function that day – it was the HQ for the police and military preparing to break the siege. I had been summoned there to assist in the hostage negotiations, though as I arrived the Iranians dumped one dead hostage onto the street. They had shot him in the head and threatened to shoot another within the hour.
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.
from For the Record:
It starts with "A/S" (abbreviation for Aktieselskab, Danish company title) and ends with "zero coupon yield curve" (a yield curve of zero coupon bonds. Market practice is often to derive this curve theoretically from the par yield curve. Also known as a spot yield curve).
Between those two entries in the Reuters Financial Glossary are more than 2,000 other terms used in the financial industry and in the reports that journalists write about it.
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.
from Sean Maguire:
One of the global themes that Reuters news editors have picked as a focus this year is 'frontier markets.' These are less developed economies that don't yet qualify as BRIC-style 'emerging markets' but which are gradually opening up to foreign portfolio investment. Fund managers eager to diversify from lacklustre, recession-battered Western economies are touting such markets as the next big hope for turbocharged returns.
One such place is Nigeria. The West African giant is the quintessential frontier market, with its mix of promising opportunity, political instability, a reputation for dubious financial practices, a resource curse and reform ambition.
from For the Record:
The rise of social media has brought journalists some powerful new storytelling and information-gathering tools. However, with these new opportunities have come some new risks.
At Reuters, we have just published some social media guidelines that lay out some basic principles and offer recommendations that should prove useful as journalists navigate what can sometimes seem a chaotic landscape.
from For the Record:
Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Breaking Borders event in Berlin that marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event, at which I spoke, took the anniversary as an opportunity to explore how the Internet is playing a role in advancing participatory democracy and free expression around the world.