Reuters editor in chief: We will focus more coverage on emerging markets
Reuters editor in chief Stephen Adler sent out the following message to the editorial staff about plans for 2014:
Happy New Year! And welcome back from what I hope was an enjoyable holiday.
As 2014 begins, I’m excited about our opportunity to do ground-breaking journalism, make a difference in the world, and keep driving toward our goal – to be, and stay, the greatest news organization in the world.
It’s important, in the midst of all the pressures and hard work, to recognize what makes Reuters such a treasure. We remain committed after 162 years to independent, unbiased, on-the-ground journalism in every corner of the world — produced with a global perspective and with no agenda other than telling the world’s stories as honestly as we possibly can. This is a mission of which we can be exceedingly proud, and one that we all play an essential part in fulfilling.
We made excellent progress in 2013, and showed admirable resourcefulness in the midst of stringent cost controls and staff reductions. We became more relevant and efficient through the Sharper File project that forced us to ask, and answer, hard questions about what we should write, and at what length. We ended the year producing fewer unnecessary updates and marginal stories.
We also got better at the twin-track approach that enables us to excel at speed, accuracy and neutrality on one track, and commentary, insight, and depth on the other. We did this by building balanced bureaus that had within them the ability both to snap at lightning speed and to address the bigger picture. Not every journalist did both, and that’s fine. But every bureau worked hard to do both – and the improvement year over year was significant.
So much great work from 2013 leaps to mind, from market-moving exclusives to unforgettable visual images and illuminating graphics to powerful Special Reports that changed the way we looked at individuals, institutions and events world-wide.
Our peers recognized how much we are improving. In 2013, Reuters received more than 125 awards for excellence, 40 percent more than the year before – and a record for us. We’ve also done more extensive customer research than ever before and found that both financial and news agency customers value Reuters news more highly than they do that of any competitor. We score especially high for speed, accuracy, neutrality and relevance — attributes that our users consider especially important.
Nonetheless, we have an enormous amount of work to do to become as strong as we want and need to be, especially considering how quickly the world is changing. So, this year, we are introducing some important initiatives that respond to, and anticipate, changes brought about by new technologies, new user behaviors, new competitors, and new global business realities. Our plans include:
- Strengthening coverage of emerging markets and of South-South investing, in response to shifts in the global economy;
- Continuing the Sharper File project to intensify focus on the most relevant coverage and minimize marginal stories;
- Developing curated streams of social-media content for customers and innovating in algorithmic verification of posts, as Twitter increasingly becomes a source of breaking news;
- Accelerating automation of data feeds and routine tasks, to maintain our speed advantage, enhance the comprehensiveness of our file, and free journalists to focus on more complex work;
- Improving news delivery on Eikon and Reuters.com, to meet customers’ changing news-consumption habits and rising expectations;
- Providing additional training in multi-media skills, ethics and standards, and news management to help our journalists excel in a period of rapid transformation.
We’ll be discussing all of these further in the coming months. Meanwhile, let me add that, for all the challenges that face us and our industry, we are blessed at Reuters with a profitable business model and a promising future. Our company is committed to our news operation and to the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles, which enshrine our commitment to “integrity, independence and freedom from bias.”
Let’s also remember that these principles provide us with a further responsibility: to “adapt the news and other services and products to maintain [our] leading position in the international news and information business.” Working together in 2014, that’s just what we’ll do.