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Reuters shakes up global desk operations

Reuters announced a major shake-up of its worldwide desk operations after a two-month review. Henceforth there will be a unified desk in each of the organisation's three regions " Asia; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Americas.

In a joint statement to staff, editor-in-chief Stephen Adler and his deputy Paul Ingrassia said a strong desk had always been central to upholding and improving Reuters’ standards and quality, “and it’s important that we staff and organize the desk to draw the most from its deep well of specialist knowledge and to ensure that the file is edited clearly and quickly”.

After a review by Reginald Chua, former editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal now Reuters data editor, they said the specialist “tracks” within each desk will remain, but they will report to a single strong desk head, who in turn reports to the regional editor. “This structure will allow the desk head the flexibility to manage the staff more efficiently and adjust to the flow of stories while at the same time bringing to bear deep knowledge of asset classes and issues. It should also provide better career opportunities for desk editors, who can move across specialist areas more easily.

“And critically, it will ensure that desk operations have strong advocates in the new chiefs, who will also play key roles in upholding Reuters’ standards.”

The new desk chiefs are

  • Asia - Jean Yoon, based in Singapore. She joined Reuters in 1995 in Seoul as a correspondent and is currently general manager for South East Asia and the Pacific.
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa - Matthew Tostevin moves to London from Africa, where he is general manager, to run the EMEA desk. Tostevin joined Reuters in Congo in 1995 after reporting for BBC radio from a series of African war zones.
  • Americas - Ciro Scotti, former managing editor of BusinessWeek, before and after its acquisition by Bloomberg, joins Reuters as desk head. After leaving Bloomberg Businessweek in October 2010, he helped manage the merger of Newsweek and the online publication The Daily Beast. Since April he has been executive editor of The Fiscal Times, a website devoted to analysis of and commentary on the major issues confronting America and the global economy.

“Ciro will start next Monday, and we expect that Jean and Matthew will transition into their new roles by the end of the year,” Adler and Ingrassia said. “They’ll be spending the next few months working through the details of the new desk structure, which we expect to implement in phases by the first quarter of next year. We’ll announce more details once the desk heads have settled into their new roles.”

As part of the desk review, the role that Top News plays in leading and managing the most important stories of the day was also examined. “We need to ensure that those stories – which cross asset classes and regions and are of interest to the broadest range of our readers – are among the most insightful, sharpest and best-written on the file.

“So we’ve decided to build on a successful pilot project in Asia and increase the staffing of Top News in all the regions, including adding several lead writers to each team to handle the top stories. This will ensure more continuity of editing and more attention to those stories. We’ll also rotate top editors from the desk through the Top News teams, both to bring more specialist knowledge to bear and to hone editing skills on the desk. We’ll announce more details about these changes in the coming weeks and months.” ■