OLD Media Moves

What’s behind Reuters’ efforts to increase transparency

April 11, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

Reuters LogoDavid Brown of The Texas Standard spoke with Reuters digital editor Dan Colarusso about why the news agency is now putting a link to its Trust Principles at the end of every story and also creating “Backstory,” which explains how some of its content is produced.

Shelly Brisbin writes, “Colarusso says one goal of the Backstory project is to show readers how the news agency uses information and images to tell stories.

“‘We do a lot of data-driven journalism, and people need to understand both how we gather that data, and take into account biases and prejudices on the data’s part,’ he says. ‘We do a lot of very controversial photography, especially in conflict zones. And we’ll be engaging some of those ideas in the future. So those type of things come in handy because everyone is suspicious of everything they read or hear, and it’s really important for people to know that there are rules of the road, and that we approach our work with as much rigor as any other profession.’

“Colarusso acknowledges that Reuters’ attempts to increase transparency are driven by the diffusion of information distribution. He says media organizations need to demonstrate their qualitative advantage.

“‘[With the growth of] the internet and social media distribution, becoming a news source – real or imagined – has gotten a lot easier,’ he says. ‘The bar has been lowered. Someone’s social media feed could get the same attention as Reuters. … I don’t think it’s cynical to say, ‘Here’s a line, and here’s what you should know about us.'”

To listen to the conversation, go here.

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