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What is Reuters?

My answer is, not any of its markets but the sum total of that brilliant team we had - the editors, the correspondents, the programmers, the technicians, the salesmen, the accountants, the managers.

It was in a way like a great orchestra. When it played brilliantly you knew things were going right, the fact reverberated right through the organisation, which was the team, not the audience, though the audience clearly saw how well things were coming together.

Since the Thomson takeover I have quite frequently dipped into Reuter services and spoken with Reuter people in Britain and elsewhere. I have not sensed that things were humming along as happily as they should have been.

The standards and principles will survive, in peoples' minds somewhere, even if not in the organisation itself.

Perhaps Paul Julius, who looks down at me every day as I wheelchair myself out of my bedroom/library, would not have been unhappy even with this latest development. ■