Reuters Editors

Our editors & readers talk

Virginia Tech and social media: some questions for newsrooms

Mourning girls at Virginia Tech

The tragic events at Virginia Tech earlier this week will take their own place in U.S. history. Alongside the Asian Tusnami and London’s 7/7 bombings, the reporting of them may also come to be seen as a defining moment in participatory or citizen journalism. I was struck by a number of issues newsrooms had to confront.

Does mainstream media’s promotion of citizen journalism encourage risk-taking?
The iconic video from Jamal Albarghouti — was submitted to CNNs i-reports citizen journalism project. Widely lauded, it nevertheless led observers including lhe Philadelphia Daily News’ Ellen Gray to ask whether the lure of recognition by traditional media is prompting citizens to take unnecessary risks.

Is there a risk of repeating unfounded rumours found on the social web?
Facebook the social networking site which focuses on students was the forum for many tributes to those killed. And friends struggling to make contact via phone were able to check whether students were OK via their Facebook pages. But social networking sites like Facebook were used by bloggers attempting to establish the identity of the killer and a Virginia Tech student whose online profile in LiveJournal graphically illustrated his penchant for guns, found himself the target of much abuse. Wired made the observation that mainstream media had not named the accused but this changed when he later turned to traditional media to clear his name.

Does the advent of social media render censoring of material on the grounds of taste irrelevant?
NBC agonised over screening parts of the killer’s ‘multimedia manifesto’ and attracted criticism. But seasoned bloggers like Dave Winer point out the tendency for such material to end up on the Web eventually anyway. Winer advocates allowing citizens to make up their own minds whether to watch or not.

Reuters Soccer Blog

Welcome to the Reuters Soccer Blog, your forum for discussion and intelligent debate on the hot topics from the international soccer scene.Football players training

Reuters sports correspondents are experts in their field and football fanatics all. Reporters from Rio to Berlin, from Milan to Tokyo, will regularly give you the lowdown on what goes on behind the scenes with the big international players and the top clubs and national sides. They speak to players in their own tongue and want to start a conversation with you in the language of football.

Out of Africa

I wanted to say a little about the launch last week of a new Reuters Africa website and to answer some of the points already raised by bloggers and journalists.

Under the Reuters Trust Principles were committed to covering the world in an even-handed fashion. Africa tends not to make the international headlines outside war and other humanitarian disasters but we know, because weve got people on the ground, thatafrica_site_screen.jpg stories from Africa are as rich and varied as from any other continent.

Reuters Photographers blog

Welcome to the Reuters Photographers blog. We would like to make this a meeting place for people who love photography – a place where we can have a discussion about Reuters pictures, talk about your own images, encourage quality photography and exchange ideas.

The blog will be run by one of our most experienced photo editors, David Viggers (in the picture), with regular contributions by some of the best photographers and editors in the business.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly blog

When we launched our ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ (GBU) feedback pages we wanted to come clean about the mistakes you spotted (we know we’re not perfect) and, in the interests of balance, also share some of the plaudits that came our way (we’re only human).

lt launched in the spring of 1997 as an attachment sent to editorial managers, but quickly spread to journalists, sales people, and others who asked to be on the mailing list. It later became a weekly fixture on the internal website for journalists, and then the Daily Briefing — the internal site for all Reuters staff. Two years ago, the bold and controversial decision was made to actually let the PUBLIC see it, and we unveiled it on reuters.com.

News about turkeys, not Turkey

I went to an interesting session at Chatham House on Monday, where Harvards Professor Joseph Nye spoke on soft power in the information age.

Turkeys1.jpgSoft power is a concept Nye has theorized about that deals with ones ability to persuade and attract others to do what you want, rather than coerce them through the hard power of force.

Reader comments on Reuters photo standards

We’re living in a world where readers expect a conversation and a high degree of interaction with their news providers. I’ve been pleased with the responses we’ve received to the various editors’ blogs we’ve posted. Most have been thoughtful and constructive. Many have posed new questions, and we’ve tried to respond.

As part of this new environment, various people and organizations often start organized email campaigns or coordinated responses to blogs about issues that concern them. Sometimes we get dozens of emails; sometimes hundreds.

Report on Reuters actions after publishing altered photographs

david-schlesinger 2.jpgLast August, Reuters published and then withdrew two photographs from Lebanon that had been digitally altered.

At that time, we immediately terminated our relationship with the freelance photographer who took and altered the images and said wed share with the public the results of our internal investigations.

Graphic images — how far is too far?

John ClarkeEvery day at Reuters we deal with hundreds of pieces of news video, ranging from war to showbiz. Through decades of experience and client feedback, we have an institutionalized understanding of what our subscribers want and need, and much of our production process is second-nature.

Occasionally,¬†there’ll be a story where we have to take a closer look at the ethics of the footage, and make judgments on what we put out, what we hold back, and really have to examine what our responsibility is in regard to our clients, our viewers, and society as a whole.

Deadly news

Every year at this season, the statistics come out about the number of journalists around the world who died for the story.

There are a couple of key organizations who make the count; their methodologies vary as do their figures, but the end result is clear: journalism can be a deadly profession, and 2006 proved the point.

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