OLD Media Moves

Reuters union upset about managers covering stories

February 4, 2015

Posted by Chris Roush

Reuters-LogoThe Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents business journalists at Reuters, is worried about how managers at Reuters are increasingly writing content.

In a post on its website, the union wrote:

In a trend that has grown with the number of EICs in our workplace, management editors are giving high priority to their own copy and pushing their reporters’ stories down the chain. They also are claiming more stories as their own. Whether it’s coverage of the U.N., the Boston Marathon or the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia, examples abound of EICs big-footing stories that have traditionally been assigned to Guild-covered reporters or are part of a Guild-covered reporter’s established beat.

It gets especially awkward when it comes to developing sources. When EICs show up at source meetings and events, the message for potential sources is clear: Why go to a reporter when you could just go right to an editor?

This leaves reporters at a disadvantage. It also allows EICs to share bylines, making their own writing and reporting role look greater than it is. After all, with EICs practically tripping over one another, they’re under a lot of pressure to look productive, and what better way of jacking up a byline count than by grabbing a piece of a story one of your reporters is working on? It’s not as if the reporter can say no.

At the same time, the blatant story-grabbing often contributes to a critical weakness in the Reuters file and becomes an easy way for EICs to mask their managerial weaknesses. When an EIC is away too often or too engrossed in his or her own story to edit a reporter’s story, it delays getting news on the file. It delays breaking news when another editor must be found to consult because the original EIC is not in the office.

Read more here.

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