Robert's Feed
Dec 23, 2010

You’re an American, you’re not ‘keen on’ anything (From the cranky editor files)

In our stories, we often say that people or companies are “keen on” something or “keen to” do something. Most American readers know what that means, and most non-British speakers understand it too. Nevertheless, it is odd when stories written and published in the United States feature British English phrases that involve “keen.”

I suspect that our reporters  and editors adopt this word into their lexicons after a few years of working at a news organization whose soul resides in the UK, even if its shares do not. Our writing works best when we write as simply as we can. “Keen” is a short word, but “want” is always better, and it works all over the English-speaking world.

Dec 22, 2010

Bulls and bears belong in the pasture (From the cranky editor files)

The headline of the story is “Investors enter 2011 in bullish mood.” The first paragraph begins with the same sentence.


I understand that people who work on Wall Street and in the financial world in general understand very well the words, “bull,” “bear,” “bullish” and “bearish.” Journalists who cover financial news naturally learn those words quickly, along with lots of other words that are endemic to this world.

Dec 14, 2010
via MediaFile

Selling the news: Reuters, the AP and Tribune

We and others reported Monday night that our parent company Thomson Reuters Corp is starting a U.S. general news service for U.S. publishers and broadcasters. Though my employer, Reuters News, has been providing general and business/financial/economic news for more than a century, we didn’t have a service before that would rely on a big group of hired journalists and stringers to get busy covering U.S. news in a large way.

You can see our story here, as well as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and stories, for more information. One of the interesting aspects that we didn’t get into in our story is one of the reasons that Tribune Co, Reuters America’s first client, decided to work with our parent company.

Nov 26, 2010
via MediaFile

Martha’s Vineyard Gazette sold to KKR co-founder Kohlberg


I’ve always been thankful that my grandparents were good at playing the real estate game. Among their unlikely coups was buying a house in the 1960′s in Edgartown, the tony enclave on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, whose exclusive address had no correspondence to their income level. If they hadn’t bought it, there’s no way that my journalist’s salary would have been able to scoop up property like that. In the more than three decades that I’ve been going there, I’ve become a regular reader of the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, the enormous broadsheet newspaper that has resisted the cost-cutting size reductions that many other newspapers in the United States have sustained.

That allegiance to the paper (and its weekly competitor, the Martha’s Vineyard Times), as well as my continuing nostalgia for my former media beat — the future of newspapers, publishing and journalism — made it all the more interesting when I read on Friday that the Reston family is selling the 164-year-old paper to Jerome Kohlberg. It’s the story that has it all for a business reader, really: Daily paper, read by rich and powerful residents who are captains of the financial world (and hopefully Reuters clients), sold to a true bigwig of the private equity world, and a strange connection to The New York Times to boot.

Oct 28, 2010

Thomson Reuters raises revenue forecast

NEW YORK (Reuters) – News and data provider Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(TRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) raised its full-year revenue forecast after third-quarter revenue in its Markets division, which serves banks and other financial institutions, rose for the first time in nearly two years.

The results suggest the company’s customers, which also include legal and healthcare professionals, are recovering from the recession that caused widespread cost cuts and layoffs.

Oct 1, 2010
via MediaFile

They’ll always be the Magazine Publishers of America to me

The Magazine Publishers of America said on Friday that it is renaming itself the MPA — The Association of Magazine Media. The notable difference is the omission of the word publishers. Why?

“MPA is underscoring the fact that magazine media content engages consumers globally across multiple platforms, including websites, tablets, smartphones, books, live events and more.”

Jul 29, 2010

Thomson Reuters forecasts return to revenue growth

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp(TRI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)forecast a return to revenue growth this quarter on stronger sales of its news and financial data terminals and sales of its new WestlawNext database for lawyers.

The company, which reported lower than-expected quarterlyprofit and revenue, also reiterated its forecast that 2010 revenue would be flat to slightly down compared to 2009, and that net sales would strengthen this year.

Jul 26, 2010

Analysis: WikiLeaks cuts a new, wired path for journalism

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said it could take weeks to determine how much damage WikiLeaks’ release of military documents on the war in Afghanistan did to national security. It took only minutes to gauge its effect on the way people get news.

WikiLeaks posted some 91,000 documents on its website, but to make sure they got attention and heavy exposure, they shared them first with The New York Times, London’s Guardian newspaper and German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Jun 23, 2010
via Summit Notebook

Paint It Black with Bluefly’s CEO


Melissa Payner, the chief executive of online clothing retailer Bluefly, visited the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Wednesday to talk some shop. I was more interested in talking about her predilection for wearing, despite the azure tint of her company’s name, nothing but black clothes. Here’s what she said about that.

Everything in my closet is black. Every single thing. They’re organized by shades of black. There are many shades of black. People sort of kid about that all the time, but no one more than my husband, who can’t understand whenever I buy something new.

Jun 23, 2010
via Summit Notebook

Public school student? Bring your own supplies


I have no children and I left the public school system in 1991, so perhaps it’s not news to some of you that parents of public school children are paying for things that we never would have dreamed we’d pay for when I was in school. To OfficeMax Chief Operating Officer Sam Martin, who visited our Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Wednesday, this stuff is no surprise at all because he’s the one selling it to the parents.

On his short list of products that parents in some school districts are paying for: markers, chalk, tissues, paper towels.