NEWS 'ORGANISATIONAL TURMOIL' HITS THOMSON REUTERS BRAND VALUE
NEWS OBITUARY: ROLAND DALLAS
NEWS $28 MILLION TRADED ON THOMSON REUTERS' EARLY DATA RELEASE
NEWS PENSIONS GROUP BEGINS COMMUNICATIONS SURVEY
NEWS BETTY WONG JOINS THE BARON EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
PEOPLE REUTERS REPORTER GAINS FANS AFTER ROW WITH PM
EDITORIAL LEANING BACK INTO THE FUTURE
COMMENTARY JOURNALISM: THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT
WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2013
Interbrand said that although the new management team had already refocused the company on its core competencies the brand’s lack of communication to the market regarding these changes (and in response to negative press) had influenced customer confidence. Thomson Reuters remained invested in building a well-organised and aligned portfolio across diverse business areas, however.
“What’s more, offerings in some of the brand’s key businesses, such as Legal and Tax & Accounting, lead their respective markets. Looking ahead, Thomson Reuters has an opportunity to assert influence and leadership through its ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship and its ‘customer first’ initiative – both within its Financial & Risk business and across the organization.”
Interbrand uses three criteria to value a brand. It measures the financial performance of branded products or services and it gauges the role of the brand in the purchase decision process as well as the overall strength of the brand.
Coca-Cola heads the latest list followed by Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft. Thomson Reuters was sandwiched between Heineken and MasterCard. ■
TUESDAY 11 JUNE 2013
His wife Rita told friends: “We lit candles and played beautiful music. The sun was shining and there was a little party in the gardens, with children playing. We opened the garden doors to let the sunlight in and held his hands as he slipped away.”
Michael Reupke, Reuters’ former general manager and editor-in-chief, said: “He was a much loved and highly respected colleague. In the past few years he spent in Pickering House, the care home run by the Journalists’ Charity, he was deeply admired by the other residents and in particular the staff for the great courage and toughness he showed in enduring and suffering his final illness. Despite it he was able to bring a smile to others’ faces and he cheered everyone by playing his collection of CDs of great classical music.”
Dallas joined Reuters in New York in 1963 after studying at Oxford and Cornell universities and the Columbia university graduate school of journalism. Following a year with the Worcester Telegram in Massachusetts he worked in Reuters’ New York bureau and two years later moved to the United Nations.
During his years with Reuters Dallas reported from many news centres, mainly in Europe and the Americas, including Mexico City, Washington, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Libya, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon. In Buenos Aires, where he was assistant manager for Latin America, he and Patrick Crosse were involved in setting up Agencia Latinoamericana de Información (Latín), created by Reuters in January 1970 as a regional news agency in a joint venture with leading Latin American newspapers. It closed in May 1981. Reuters then distributed its Spanish services in Latin America under its own name.
Later Dallas worked for The Economist and was editor of its confidential newsletter, Foreign Report. He was the author of a biography, King Hussein: The Great Survivor, published in 1998. The title was changed to King Hussein: A Life on the Edge when the Jordanian monarch died a few months later.
There will be a memorial service at St Bride’s, the journalists’ church in Fleet Street, later this year. ■
FRIDAY 7 JUNE 2013
Trading in futures for the S&P 500 exploded before the release was supposed to have hit the tape – at 09:59:59.985. The release should have gone out at 10:00:00 on the dot.
Two days later Thomson Reuters admitted it had inadvertently released the data to a select group of high frequency traders before it was available to the wider market.
“We have identified that there was a minor clock synchronization issue Monday causing this data to be released 15 milliseconds early,” it said in a statement to US business television channel CNBC. “We are taking measures to minimize clock synchronization issues in order to ensure that release of the data is as close as possible to the official release time of 10am ET.”
Thomson Reuters said the data was just one of more than 1,300 economic indicators available on its high speed news feed direct service.
CNBC said a source familiar with the situation characterised the incident as a “minor, isolated, clock synchronization issue,” and said Thomson Reuters is “taking measures to make sure that synchronization is completely up to speed in the future.” ■
MONDAY 3 JUNE 2013
Reuters Pension Fund and Supplementary Pension Scheme trustees and administrators have made efforts in recent years to improve communications to scheme members – active, deferred and retired, she said. However the Pension Review Group has become increasingly aware of the need to keep pace with best practice, the importance of timeliness and balance in relation to formal/official communications and also to inform members of topical and interesting subjects in a way that is lively and engaging. The PRG wishes to support the trustees and administrators by putting forward ideas to enhance and strengthen communications in the future.
“To do this, we need the help of pension funds members. We need to know what those who are members think about the communications they already receive, and also to gain a view on what, if any, improvements could be made,” she said.
Closing date for completion of the survey is 1 July. A summary of feedback provided in the questionnaire along with an update on PRG conclusions and any recommendations will be put to the trustees for consideration. Comments will not be attributed and responses will remain confidential.
“RPF and SPS members are of course able to give feedback to trustees and administrators on any communications issue, at any time, and this initiative doesn’t replace that right,” Dean added.
■ CLICK to start the survey. ■
MONDAY 3 JUNE 2013
“I am delighted that Betty Wong has agreed to bring her deep knowledge of Reuters and her communications experience to the editorial advisory board,” said Barry May, editor of The Baron. ■
SUPPORT THE BARON
■ CONTACT THE EDITOR
Thomson Reuters has an opportunity to assert influence and leadership
'Organisational turmoil hits Thomson Reuters brand value
■ Leaning back into the future
■ Scenes from a marriage
■ Too soon for an obituary
■ News versus opinion
■ Eyes on the prize
■ Change is hard to handle
■ Editorial standards
■ Winners and losers
■ Moment of truth
■ Focus on news
■ A delicate matter
■ A circle unsquared, a line crossed, a reputation tarnished
■ Taking stock
■ Connections and camaraderie
■ Journalist safety, military accountability
■ Squeezing the genie back into the bottle
■ End of an era
■ Dealing with death
■ Looking forward, glancing back
■ Journalism: the long and the short of it
■ AlertNet RIP? Pride and optimism
■ Reshaping the business of social change
■ Change for the better at Reuters
ANTHONY DE ROSA
■ News agencies must evolve or meet extinction
■ The newsonomics of Reuters’ Americanisation
■ The US once again has two international news agencies; the UK now has none
■ Do we want commentary from our news agencies?
■ Are news agencies worth it?
■ The golden age of journalism
■ It's not stenography - and it isn't always nice
■ Tips for running a successful news agency
■ Reuters in 2010 and a look ahead to 2011
■ Our need to be in the midst of danger
■ Changing journalism; changing Reuters
■ A future for news
■ Living to tell the story
■ Don’t like WikiLeaks? Let reporters do their jobs
■ Link economy and journalism
The Reuter Society is a social club for anyone who has ever worked for Reuters, or Thomson Reuters, and wants to keep in touch with former colleagues. It promotes comradeship and informal contact among professionals from the business of news and financial services, communications and information technology. It brings together people with different skills and interests. Members may have worked for any branch of the group, in the UK or overseas, in editorial, finance, legal, HR, marketing, sales, technical and so on. Partners are most welcome to join in the Society’s activities.
The Society holds four regular members’ meetings a year, usually at St Bride’s Institute off Fleet Street, London. Someone with a Thomson Reuters connection is invited to talk about current company developments or about their own experience of “Life after Reuters”. Past speakers have ranged from former group chief executive Tom Glocer to thriller writer Frederick Forsyth. After the talk there is a reception when members socialise. Meetings last about three hours, starting either at noon or 5:00 pm. Every two years the Society organises a group excursion. Past destinations have included Lille, Edinburgh and Geneva.
THE REUTER SOCIETY FUND
The Reuter Society Fund, launched in December 2012, is a benevolent fund to help members who have fallen on hard times.
It makes occasional financial grants to members who are in need or difficulty, primarily to pay for exceptional medical care or other forms of short-term or emergency help.
The Fund uses surplus cash from the Society’s own resources and donations, including legacies, from other sources. Grants are single once-only payments for specific purposes. They are intended to be a resource of last resort for members in the absence of other public or private sources of support.
Donations to the Fund can be made by contacting the chairman, ■ Stephen Somerville, in the first instance.
Membership of The Reuter Society costs just £10 a year – or £120 for a lifetime subscription. CLICK the following link and print the application form.
■ Membership application form
THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER 2013
12:00 PM TO 3:00 PM.
TUESDAY 3 DECEMBER 2013
5:00 PM TO 8:00 PM.
Reuter Society groups on
■ More about The Reuter Society
Reuters staff who have died whilst covering war and conflict are commemorated in a Memorial Book, copies of which are displayed in London, New York and other major offices. A copy is also on show at the Newseum, Washington, DC. Each entry has been researched and written by Peter Mosley (Reuters 1957-1992), former features editor. The contents of the book are reproduced here by permission of David Schlesinger, formerly editor-in-chief.
Every media worker killed since 1944 while doing their job is commemorated at the Journalists Memorial at Bayeux, Normandy. Inaugurated on 7 October 2006, it bears nearly 2,000 names. The memorial is the initiative of Reporters Sans Frontières/Reporters Without Borders.
Another memorial to news staff killed on location is situated in London. It is in the form of a 10 metre glass and steel cone mounted on the roof of BBC Broadcasting House. At 10 pm each night the cone projects a beam of light up to one kilometre into the sky. It was inaugurated by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on 16 June 2008.
The Newseum in Washington, DC, is home of the Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial which bears the names of more than 1,800 individuals etched on curved glass panels.
■ Memorial Book foreword
■ Frank Roberts
Suakim, Sudan 15 May 1885
■ Ernest Sheepshanks
Teruel, Spain 31 December 1937
■ Alexander Anderson
at sea, off Alexandria, Egypt December 1941
■ Kenneth Selby-Walker
off Sumatra March 1942
■ Kenneth Stonehouse
Bay of Biscay 2 June 1943
■ Stewart Sale
Scafati near Naples, Italy 28 September 1943
■ William Stringer
near Chartres, France 17 August 1944
■ Derek Pearcy
Korea 26 May 1951
■ Bruce Pigott, Ron Laramy
Saigon 5 May 1968
■ Najmul Hasan
Western Iran 11 August 1983
■ Wilfredo Vicoy
Northern Philippines 25 April 1986
■ Roberto Navas Alvarez
San Salvador 18 March 1989
■ John Mathai
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4 June 1991
■ Anthony Macharia, Hos Maina, Dan Eldon
Somalia 12 July 1993
■ Adil Bunyatov
Baku 17 March 1995
■ Mohamed Amin
off Comoro Islands, Indian Ocean 23 November 1996
■ Kurt Schork
Sierra Leone 24 May 2000
■ Harry Burton, Azizullah Haidari
Afghanistan 19 November 2001
■ Taras Protsyuk
Baghdad 8 April 2003
■ Mazen Dana
Baghdad 17 August 2003
■ Adlan Khasanov
Grozny 9 May 2004
■ Dhia Najim
Ramadi 1 November 2004
■ Waleed Khaled
Baghdad 28 August 2005
■ Namir Noor-Eldeen, Saeed Chmagh
Baghdad 12 July 2007
■ Fadel Shana
Gaza 16 April 2008
■ Hiro Muramoto
Bangkok 10 April 2010
■ Sabah al-Bazee
Tikrit, Iraq 29 March 2011
Wherever two or more Reuters people gather together they are sure to have a preferred neighbourhood watering hole. It may have been the redoubtable Mrs Moon’s, a grubby, nondescript bar in a draughty Fleet Street cellar whose strange mystique lay in its grim and charmless scruffiness and famously iron rule of its fierce, eponymous landlady; or Mulligan’s on a busy mid-town Manhattan corner of Seventh Avenue in New York where weekly paychecks were cashed by the jovial Irish bartenders more promptly and with far more grace than at any bank; or the legendary colonial-style FCC – the Foreign Correspondents’ Club – on Lower Albert Road in Central, Hong Kong, a second home for journalists in Asia to this day.
Many are the unsung haunts in quieter, far-flung spots where correspondents swapped tales about the privations of assignments in hardship posts: the heat, the flies, the warm champagne.
Brian Williams, former correspondent, editor and much-travelled bon vivant, is one of many who have known a few refuges from the rigours of the job. “One of the joys of working for Reuters was going to foreign lands and knowing that if you called the bureau they'd (in most cases) know the best little secret restaurant or beach or hang-out or bar or some such,” he recalls.
So, in response to a plea from the Digger for recommendations, here is a space where you can send details of your own haven of choice, past or present. Some of them may no longer serve though it’s likely that they live on in folk memory as the ghostly haunts of the tired and emotional in times past. Others may be new discoveries worth commending to colleagues.
The most striking element in the illusion of Austrian Alps refuge from the civil war reality of tension on the streets of Beirut was the bleak personality of the owner of Myrtom House, a tall, thin man with cropped blond hair who was rumoured to have served as a model for an iconic Hitler Youth bust. He presided over the big timber bar with an air of gloom and foreboding and if you ever wanted a pessimistic viewpoint on the latest Middle East crisis, would provide a ready-made doomsday quote.
■ Recollections by Steve Somerville
Even Reuters has written about it and despite a dwindling population of journalists in the former colony there is still a waiting list to join the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong, which once had a hotline from the Reuters office to the Main Bar, legends like the Naked Copper, and a loo with a view immortalised by John le Carré. All this, and more, has made the FCC world famous (in Hong Kong).
■ Recollections by Jonathan Sharp
The foreign press corps’ favourite watering hole in apartheid-era Johannesburg was a bar that began as a gold rush miners’ shack, became a more upmarket bar and restaurant and then, as businesses fled the urban violence of downtown Jo’burg for the relative safety of the city’s northern suburbs, reverted to little more than a shebeen. During the glory years, segregation (professional segregation, that is) extended to the econ/gennews staff.
■ Recollections by Peter Gregson
It tasted like turpentine but local wine – yes, Afghan wine – was on offer for a succession of correspondents visiting Kabul in the days before the Taliban. The Intercontinental hotel, a watchpost on a hill and a comfortable refuge from the dust of the city, was a haven, a nest of spies and a hang-out for propagandists.
■ Recollections by Barry May
As dive bars go Mrs Moon’s could scarcely go lower. Among its denizens a latter-day Hogarth might have found inspiration for a finely observed cartoon capturing the slightly seedy atmosphere and occasional air of subterranean mischief. When the doors closed for the last time after an epic day and night of strictly illicit drinking in the winter of 1984 (British pub opening hours in those days were more rigidly regulated), a little bit of Fleet Street, shabby, mystical and as beloved as a favourite pair of comfortable old shoes, disappeared.
■ Recollections by George Short
Bankers and lawyers now occupy the upper floors of the building that was Reuters’ headquarters for six decades. But at street level the memory of Paul Julius Reuter is evoked in pictures and there is even a Reuters room in the basement at Lutyens Restaurant, Bar and Cellar Rooms. It’s all a far cry from the St Paul’s Grill, Reuters’ staff canteen on the 8th floor in the 1970s and later. If any ghosts from its long gone Reuters days still haunt 85 they are keeping quiet.
■ Recollections by Barry May
They starred on Broadway and slummed on Seventh as a growing colony of expat journalists expanded Reuters’ American domain. Proximity to the newsroom high in a skyscraper with views of the Manhattan roofscape, across the Hudson to New Jersey and beyond was key to the location of any refuge from the desk: journalists needed more than their lunchtime to carry out editorial planning sessions. Rousing scenes of alcohol-stoked global news stars vying to command the marathon editorial meetings are still evoked.
■ Recollections by Michael Reilly
It was almost impossible to get a small drink at Solomon's, the hole-in-the-wall bar run by a handsome, moustachioed retired detective in Nicosia: the beer was in large bottles, whisky was miniatures, a tumbler of ouzo and water made you cough and if you asked for a glass of wine the bottle was left at your elbow, with the clear implication that a real man would empty it. The bar attracted a paramilitary following, friends from Solomon's former career, as well as journalists.
■ Recollections by Mike Hughes
Nowhere but Paris could be home to a cheap and cheerful bistro that featured a statuesque blonde waitress called Nelly, a bar nicknamed Smelly's after its malodorous patron, and everywhere plenty of vin rouge. Memories are vague, possibly clouded by alcoholic haze.
■ Recollections by Tony Winning
The bars of Saigon were home for two generations of war correspondents, the reporters who covered the French and American conflicts. They offered an essential interlude between forays out of the city to the battlefields of Vietnam. Some of them were hotel bars, others back street dives. The older ones, like the Continental and the Majestic, figured in novels of the French Indochina War, by writers such as Graham Greene and Jean Lartéguy. Later the Caravelle became the American media headquarters. One of the attractions of the most popular bars was their rooftop location: at times of crisis in the city they became vantage points for viewing the action. Now they are luxury leisure scenes for rich tourists.
■ Recollections by Steve Somerville
Although it had a celebrated history the old National Press Club bar was no place to look at but it was handy for Reuters’ Washington bureau a few floors below in the same landmark building. And anyhow, the main attraction was the good talk, big drinks, occasional argument and friendly fisticuffs. It wasn’t the only show in town, though. The Class Reunion, the Old Ebbitt, the Dubliner, the Tune In and others competed for the attention of the US capital’s pen and pad crowd.
■ Recollections by Michael Posner
A GLIMPSE OF THE ARCHIVES
■ James Bond’s creator Ian Fleming learnt his writing skill as a Reuters correspondent and later became a foreign manager at a newspaper group acquired by Thomson.
■ A report on the assassination of President Lincoln was thrown into the sea and then retrieved in outsize shrimping nets to give Reuters an early market-moving scoop in Europe.
■ A Reuters dispatch concealed in a train driver’s sandwich in Africa drove London “stark, raving mad” and gave birth to a new verb, “to maffick”, in dictionaries.
■ Six fast donkeys were part of an elaborate communications system assembled by Reuters to get out the story of a 3,000-year-old king – a scoop gained by a shrewd bluff.
■ Reuters was first with news of the closure of the border between East and West Berlin after a mysterious tip-off and first again when the wall dividing the city came down 28 years later.
These and many other stories in Reuters’ distinguished history are to be found in documents held within the company archives, a rich repository of fact and anecdote.
They were explored for A Glimpse of the Archives, a series of 10 monographs on four famous authors who had worked for Reuters and six world-shaking events that were significant news file landmarks over the course of a century.
Basil Chapman* (Reuters 1953-1983), former assistant world services editor, returned from retirement to research and write them. Each one was illustrated by a specially commissioned caricature drawn by British cartoonist David Smith. They were first published in Reuters World, the staff magazine, in 1988. Enlargements were printed on art paper, framed and hung in Reuters’ offices around the world. The caricatures are the copyright of David Smith and are reproduced here with his permission.
*Basil Chapman died on 20 August 2008 aged 90.
■ Ian Fleming
■ John Buchan
■ Frederick Forsyth
■ Edgar Wallace
■ Mafeking relieved
■ Lincoln assassinated
■ Tutankhamen discovered
■ Everest conquered
■ Gandhi shot
■ Berlin Border closed
MORE FROM THE ARCHIVES
■ New name, same old failure
■ A tale of two cities
■ How they brought the good news
■ Enter Heinrich Geller - stage right
■ Dr Davies, I presume
■ Romantic, idealist and no chip off the old block
■ Location, location, location
■ The new Siamese twins
■ Reuters' first editor - scoundrel, womaniser and journalist of flair
■ Dancing to a different tune
■ Ultra-British editor who loved America took royal bribes
■ William Haley and the Trust Principles
■ A pioneer for women who broke through barriers
■ Reuters trainees past and present
■ How to become a Reuters trainee
■ The Baron's management philosophy
■ Honours and the independence of Reuters
■ Office boy transmitted news of the Titanic - all in a day's work
■ Hot dogs and gourmet cuisine: life at the top of Reuters
■ Sir Roderick Jones's finest hour
■ Charles Dickens and 'the great Reuter'
■ Telstar, Reuters chiefs and a commemorative flight of pigeons
■ Where are they now, the Reuters name plates from 85?
■ The Baron is back in New York
Launch of the Reuter Monitor
The Reuter Monitor, a screen-based foreign exchange retrieval system that would be the springboard for Reuters’ financial success, was launched on 4 June 1973.
Reuters floats as a listed company in London and New York
Reuters became a publicly-quoted company on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in New York as Reuters Holdings PLC on 4 June 1984.
Launch of The Baron website
The Baron website for Reuters people past and present was launched on 16 June 2008.
■ Anniversaries for the whole year
■ Foreign Correspondents' Club
■ Frontline Club
■ International News Safety Institute
■ International Press Institute
■ Journalists' Charity
■ National Press Club
■ National Union of Journalists
■ Newspaper Guild of New York
■ New York Press Club
■ Pew Research Center
■ Poynter Institute
■ Press Gazette
■ Reporters Without Borders
■ Centenary Fund
■ Handbook of Journalism
■ Reuters Best
■ Reuters Fact Sheet
■ Reuters Financial Glossary
■ Reuters Institute Digital News Report
■ Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
■ Reuters Magazine
■ Reuters Pension Fund
■ Thomson Reuters Annual Report
■ Thomson Reuters Corporate Responsibility Report
■ Thomson Reuters Foundation
■ Trust Principles