Our editors & readers talk
from From Reuters.com:
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.
We want this to be the world’s best website covering business and finance news, analysis, and opinion. Full stop.
We want you to be able to come for a quick glance at the top headlines, or a longer deep dive into a topic that's important to you. We want you to scan the output of the 2,800 men and women or hone in on a favorite writer or photographer.
There is hope for journalism.
At least that is what I took away from the shining examples of the craft awarded prizes by the Kurt Schork Memorial fund this year.
Since 2002 the Fund has been honouring journalists for accomplished reporting that is all the more to be admired because they have worked as freelancers, without the security of being employed by a large news organisation. The Fund also honours local journalists; their particular bravery lies in working in the knowledge they cannot flee a country’s persecution and harassment, as foreign journalists may, because it is their homeland.
Last week I was told that Reuters has lost its ethical bearings. You’ve sacrificed the sacred tenet of accuracy by rushing to publish information without checking if it is true. Your credibility has suffered, the value of your brand will wither and the service you offer to clients has been devalued, I heard.
It was a meaty accusation, especially as it came in the midst of a debate on ethics in journalism held at the London home of ThomsonReuters, the parent of the Reuters news organisation. The charge came from former Reuters journalists and a senior member of the trustees body that monitors Reuters compliance with its core ethical principles.
from Afghan Journal:
On a hilltop in central Kabul, the relics of Soviet armoured vehicles sit in the shadow of an incongruously vast and empty swimming pool. A tower of diving boards looks down into the concrete carcass built by the Russians. Boys play football there and on Fridays the basin is used for dog fights; combat is the only option for the canine gladiators, as they cannot climb up the sheer, steep sides. From the vantage point you can see the city's graveyards, its bright new mosques, the narco-palaces of drug-funded business potentates and the spread of modest brick homes where most Kabulis live. It's a favourite spot for reporters when they need to escape the press of urgent events and get cleaner air in their lungs.
For years journalists have sought to tell stories that go beyond the conflict in Afghanistan. We've tried to portray this country - the crossroads of central Asia, the summer home of Moghul emperors, the cockpit of clashing empires - as more than a place of blood, deprivation and extremism. Amid the dust and the heat it has its oases of tranquility, its laughter and its charms. From the market stalls of sweet pomengranates that line the road in autumn to the rose gardens newly planted in central Kabul, Afghanistan is a place of thorny history, cultural complexity and spartan beauty.
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.
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.
The following speech was given at the Association of Online Publishers conference in London on October 7. Chris Cramer is Reuters Global Editor, Multimedia.
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.
from Sean Maguire:
The Media Standards Trust has begun a lecture series on 'Why Journalism Matters'. It is disconcerting that it feels we have to ask the question. The argument put forward by the British group's director Martin Moore is that news organisations are so preoccupied with business survival that discussion of the broader social, political and cultural function of journalism gets forgotten. It is a pertinent review then, given the icy economic blasts hitting most Anglo-Saxon media groups, and notwithstanding the recent examples of self-evidently broader journalistic 'value' produced by London's Daily Telegraph in its politican-shaming investigations into parliamentarians' expenses.
First up in the series was Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, who cantered through the justifications for a vibrant, independent press. Watchdog, informer, explainer, campaigner, community builder and debater - those are the roles that journalism plays. The value that it brings is most evident by comparison with the unhealthiness of states where the press is not free, noted Barber, citing the struggles of the citizenry in China and Russia to hold their leaders to account.
from Global News Journal:
Former U.S. defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's attempts to be philosophical about 'known unknowns' and 'unknown unknowns' gave him a reputation for slipperiness and cant. The phrases uttered in 2002 to explain the military's failure to improve security in Afghanistan have passed into folklore, alongside such gems as 'stuff happens,' which was his explanation for the looting that followed the toppling of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003.
The 'known unknown' concept is a more useful tool in journalism than you would think from the derision heaped on Rumsfeld by reporters. As journalists we spend our time uncovering facts, reporting data, breaking news and offering insights into the meaning of events. We rarely stop to contemplate what we do not know, what we cannot know and what impact that ignorance has in shaping perceptions.
On May 29th, James Coleman of Bristol smacked his skull on a tree branch while filing updates to the Twitter service (or tweeting) from his Blackberry during a run. His accident spawned a new word: a “Twinjury”.