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Reuters editor in chief Adler announces retirement

January 6, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Stephen Adler

Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen J. Adler announced Wednesday that he will retire in April 2021, after ten years at the head of the award-winning global newsroom.

In a message to staff, Adler said: “It has been an honor, and certainly the highlight of my career, to lead this extraordinary news organization. I am so grateful to you, my consummately talented and hard-working colleagues. We have reported the news with speed, accuracy, fairness, and insight in every medium. We have provided unique value to our customers, spoken truth to power, and made the world a better place with our factual and fearless journalism.

“I will miss the daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute Reuters adventure and will surely miss all of you. But it is the right time for me to pass the baton. I’m greatly looking forward to writing, teaching, advocating for press freedom and media literacy, and finding my way toward unexpected new challenges.”

As editor-in-chief of the world’s largest international news provider, Adler has overseen all editorial functions. Under his leadership, Reuters has received hundreds of journalism awards, including seven Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer finalists, eclipsing all past Reuters records.

During his tenure, he oversaw the introduction of stricter safety standards, enhanced hostile-environment training, and new mental-health programs including a peer-to-peer support network. Adler has worked tirelessly to secure freedom for journalists in custody or under threat. He will continue his work on behalf of press freedom and media literacy through not-for-profit work.

Reuters President Michael Friedenberg, said: “I want to thank Steve for his extraordinary contribution to Reuters over the past ten years and to congratulate him on his hard-earned retirement. Steve has played an integral role in transforming Reuters into a contemporary, diversified media organization built around a world-class newsroom, which he has led to new heights. On behalf of all his colleagues at Reuters, I wish Steve great happiness as he turns the page on a well-earned new chapter in life.”

Adler joined Thomson Reuters in 2010 as senior vice president and editorial director of the company’s Professional Division and was named editor-in-chief of Reuters the following year.

Previously, he was editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek and a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal. There, in addition to managing investigative reporting teams and overseeing the Wall Street Journal Online, he co-taught the ethics and standards course required of all news employees.

He was a top editor of The American Lawyer from 1983 to 1988 and began his career as a reporter at local newspapers in Florida.

Adler is chairman of Columbia Journalism Review’s board of overseers, chairman of the board of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He is a member of the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Gerald R. Loeb Awards board of final judges.

A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, Adler is author of the book “The Jury: Trial and Error in the American Courtroom,” which won the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.

Reuters will begin the search for a new editor-in-chief in the coming days.

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