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Reuters goes 'more global'

Reuters is reorganising its news desk "to be more global, nimble, and customer aware" with a streamlined editing process, deeper commitment to talent and diversity, and stronger technological capabilities.

Changes in the agency’s circumstances, both internal and external, give an opportunity for innovation, editor-in-chief Stephen Adler (photo) wrote on Thursday in a memo to all Reuters staff seen by The Baron.

Internally, last year's sale of control of the data and terminals business now trading as Refinitiv has allowed Reuters to emerge as a full profit and loss business, newly able to achieve editorial and commercial growth, he said.

Externally, technologies such as artificial intelligence are transforming the competitive landscape as they provide increasing access to useful tools.

“A fresh generation of journalists is introducing new skills and workplace values, and customer habits are changing,” Adler said.

It’s all part of the agency’s “newsroom of the future” project.

Staff input over recent months pointed towards the need for “a simpler, more global structure closely aligned to the stages through which our news file passes - planning and creation; then production, curation, and publishing - rather than dictated primarily by geographic and format-based silos,” Adler said.

As first steps, over two months a unified global editing desk will integrate the decades-old structure of three regional desks that currently cover the Americas, Asia, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Then the top news desk will close, some of its editors shifting to a global enterprise team, others to the global desk.

The change “reflects a near-universal staff preferences for fewer layers of decision-making in bringing a story to publication,” Adler said.

Two new deputy global news editors will be appointed - one for “media and consumer”, the other for “business verticals”.

A new global managing editor will be appointed for “editorial talent, training, and diversity”.

Regional managing editors for operations will be consolidated into “a single, agile pool of operations and security specialists, reporting globally”.

Finally, “We heard you loud and clear that we need a more formal, joined-up process to realize our tech and innovation potential, and we have posted the new role of Reuters Chief Technology Officer to address this need.” ■