Felix Salmon, a former Reuters journalist, writes for Recode that Reuters should exit the financial news business now that it has sold its terminal operation.
Salmon writes, ” Blackstone’s billions should be able to give Reuters the ability to reach billions of emerging news consumers directly, and to be able to compete with broadcasters (CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Star) that are hobbled by astronomical per-story costs. Spend some of that $325 million each year on tactical acquisitions and a bunch more on aggressive international expansion; pretty soon Reuters can become the first best source of news for a planet that is just now emerging into broad literacy.
“At the same time, move out of all those expensive offices in global financial centers around the world, wired to provide up-to-the-second information on market prices, and stop hiring journalists based on their ability to understand yield curves and central bankers. Instead, tell the stories that domestic news consumers demand, delivered directly to their phones in a manner they can come to rely upon.
“That’s a significant change in skillset, which will probably require Reuters buying digital-native news organizations in most of the countries it’s operating in. Wonderfully, it now has the wherewithal to do so. And it’s much better to spend that money on preparing for the future than it is to squander it providing financial news for the benefit of an ungrateful Stephen Schwarzman.”
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