Our editors & readers talk
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.
We encourage bloggers and individuals to use a teaser and perhaps add their own perspective to enhance the online experience. The RSS feeds on Reuters.com are designed to make this easy to do.
Recently, we engaged in a controlled experiment with Attributor to identify websites that republish complete or near complete versions of Reuters articles and have a commercial model, without a license or agreement. In many cases those websites utilize third party ad networks to monetize their audiences. Some question why we object to websites posting full copies of our stories without a licensing agreement. The answer is simple – we believe it is neither fair nor legal nor ethical.
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.
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 For the Record:
The president was inaugurated in front of adoring crowds and positive reviews in the media. As the unpopular incumbent sat on the platform with him, the new Democratic chief executive took office as the nation faced a crippling economic crisis. The incoming president was a charismatic figure who had run a brilliant campaign and had handled the press with aplomb. The media were ready to give him a break.
A little girl in my family got a typewriter for Christmas.
Not a laptop. Nothing with a screen. A typewriter. The old-fashioned manual kind with a smeary ribbon and keys that stick.
Some years ago, an American reporter who covered religion was at Tel Aviv airport leaving Israel.
As I calculated the investment loss since the steep decline in the markets began, and particularly since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in mid-September, some questions arose (in addition to: Will I ever be able to retire?).
One of the side remarks at a debate on journalism I attended was that large British news organisations no longer cover ‘foreign news’. They cover ‘world news’. The argument at a London awards ceremony was that in a globalised world, where a multiplicity of perspectives are available on the Internet, news editors should no longer get correspondents (us) to write about foreigners (them). The belief is that the Us/Them dichotomy reinforces harmful stereotypes and encourages shallow reporting rather than deep and detailed journalism.
Much of the debate was about whether contemporary Anglo-Saxon journalism is doing enough to get beyond stereotyping. Amid that was the nagging fear that audiences do not want to part with their prejudices and that news editors will not give correspondents the opportunity to persuade them. The panel of correspondents lamented the diminishing volume of international reporting in the pages of the mainstream press and on the news programmes of major broadcasters. We know the reasons – competition for viewers and readers, pressure on budgets, an assumption that news from distant places is hard to make relevant to fickle audiences. There was a touch of vocational insecurity to the discussion. Nobody likes to think their profession is changing and is being pushed from the limelight. The panelists were reminded there never really was a golden age for foreign news (if I may be excused the term) and correspondents abroad had always struggled to grab the front page. There was some irony as well to hearing BBC friends worry about the corporation’s appetite for international journalism when, as panel moderator Allan Little pointed out, its roster of foreign correspondents has gone from 10 to over 200 in the last two decades.
Portfolio’s Zubin Jelveh then followed up with a post that included some statistics about Reuters use vs. other news organizations.