OLD Media Moves

Reuters editor in chief says story wasn't spiked due to pressure

December 23, 2009


Reuters editor in chief David Schlesinger sent out the following e-mail Wednesday afternoon to the news service’s editorial managers after Talking Biz News reported Monday that Reuters spiked a story about a hedge fund manager after he pressured them.

Schlesinger’s e-mail stated, “There’s been blog chatter in the US this week that I spiked a story because Devin told me to after he got a call from the story’s putative subject. I know many of our journalists have been concerned by the reports and even wondered if they were true.

“Don’t believe them.

“We make decisions on stories for editorial and journalistic reasons only.

“Those decisions, by their nature, are judgement calls and you of course are always free to question the judgement or debate the issues. But never doubt the commitment of this company and of me to our Trust principles and journalistic ethics.

“In my three years as Editor-in-Chief (and in the three years before that when I was running editorial operations), neither Tom nor Devin has ever asked me to kill a story or to run a story. I would have objected loudly if they had.

“They do — and I expect them to — onpass comments and complaints about stories we’ve done or are contemplating. Those comments come from customers, from competitors, from government officials, from ordinary citizens — the very same people who contact me directly scores of times per year.

“Whether the complaints come to me directly or via Tom or Devin, the result is the same: I listen; I look into the matter; I make up my own mind.

“The company named me editor for  my judgement, my experience, my ethics — it wants me to be independent because good journalism is good business.Â

“That’s how it should work. That’s how it does work.”

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