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Reuters Instructs Staff to Find Out How the Rest of the Country Lives

Reuters Instructs Staff to Find Out How the Rest of the Country Lives

Credit where credit’s due?

The 2016 election cycle and subsequent presidential coverage made painfully clear the disconnect between the political media and the rest of the real world.

East Coast and particularly Beltway elites could not wrap their heads around Trump’s win and for good reason — they do not experience or live in the same world as the country that elected Trump president. As they’ve learned, the world does not revolve around D.C. or Manhattan.

Which explains why Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler sent a very public memo to staffers (no accident there) reminding them what journalism is and how it ought to be conducted.

Among the tips and instructions was the suggestion that reporters, “Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.”

Adler explores the role of journalism in Trump’s America as though the country is in uncharted territory, never having seen a swing from one party to another or civil unrest:

The first 12 days of the Trump presidency (yes, that’s all it’s been!) have been memorable for all – and especially challenging for us in the news business. It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” or that his chief strategist dubs the media “the opposition party.” It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new Administration.

So what is the Reuters answer? To oppose the administration? To appease it? To boycott its briefings? To use our platform to rally support for the media? All these ideas are out there, and they may be right for some news operations, but they don’t make sense for Reuters. We already know what to do because we do it every day, and we do it all over the world.

And then there are the “Do’s”:

We don’t know yet how sharp the Trump administration’s attacks will be over time or to what extent those attacks will be accompanied by legal restrictions on our news-gathering. But we do know that we must follow the same rules that govern our work anywhere, namely:

Do’s:

–Cover what matters in people’s lives and provide them the facts they need to make better decisions.

–Become ever-more resourceful: If one door to information closes, open another one.

–Give up on hand-outs and worry less about official access. They were never all that valuable anyway. Our coverage of Iran has been outstanding, and we have virtually no official access. What we have are sources.

–Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.

–Keep the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles close at hand, remembering that “the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved.”

And Don’ts:

–Never be intimidated, but:

–Don’t pick unnecessary fights or make the story about us. We may care about the inside baseball but the public generally doesn’t and might not be on our side even if it did.

–Don’t vent publicly about what might be understandable day-to-day frustration. In countless other countries, we keep our own counsel so we can do our reporting without being suspected of personal animus. We need to do that in the U.S., too.

–Don’t take too dark a view of the reporting environment: It’s an opportunity for us to practice the skills we’ve learned in much tougher places around the world and to lead by example – and therefore to provide the freshest, most useful, and most illuminating information and insight of any news organization anywhere.

That this needs to be said is nothing short of sad. But credit where credit’s due, I suppose.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

Expect stories like this from the media.

President Trump invited the Pope for lunch on his mega yacht, the Pope accepted and during lunch, a puff of wind blew the Pontiff’s hat off, right into the water.

It floated off about 50 feet, then the wind died down and it just floated in place.

The crew and the secret service were scrambling to launch a boat to go get it, when Trump waved them off, saying “Never mind, boys, I’ll get it.”

The Donald climbed over the side of the yacht, walked on the water to the hat, picked it up, walked back on the water, climbed into the yacht, and handed the Pope his hat.

The crew was speechless. The security team and the Pope’s entourage were speechless. No one knew what to say, not even the Pope.

But that afternoon, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN reported:

“TRUMP CAN’T SWIM!”

From what I’ve seen of that organization, they could definitely use the reminder.

Watch for a run on the passport office and medical clinics for massive injections of vaccines.

How about reminding reporters to be objective?

But credit where credit’s due, I suppose.

I see nothing in there worth crediting.

He missed the whole raison d’être of a news organization, and missed it cleanly. All he’s saying is that Reuters hitmen employees should get to know their victims audience better so that they can be more effective at tailoring Reuters propaganda.

In other words, keep the same despicable goals as always, but follow these hints to do it more effectively.

    Amen.

    Take these corrupt clowns about as a serious source of news as we did the old USSR’s Pravda.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tom swift. | February 2, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Touche, touche, touche!

    Exactly my interpretation of Adler’s “memo.”

    RE: “….so that they can be more effective at tailoring Reuters propaganda.”

    I’ve noticed for many years how the “media outlets” “message” strategies to the Democrats (and obviously to other MSM outlets.)

    They have been at war with the American citizens for many a year now.

Color me skeptic.
I don’t buy this newfound “honesty”.
All I see is another “sorry, not sorry”.

Did any of these people actually graduate from journalism school?

Rule #1 has always been use RELIABLE sources. Preferably sources independent with no interest in the story being reported.

Rule #2 is always verify the information that you receive. People LIE. And, if you print a lie, then, to all appearances, you are a liar too.

Rule #3 is save the column space for IMPORTANT stories. Ink costs money, so don’t waste it on the color of someone’s tie.

Rule #4 is always be fair to the subject of your story. No one’s skirts are clean, including journalists. The reporter might like some consideration if HIS dirt laundry is exposed.

Rule #5 is the most important. The most important factors in a news story is that it is Clear, Concise and ACCURATE. Print one falsehood and you are now a liar.

It is not that hard to be a journalist.

    Barry in reply to Mac45. | February 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Come on Mac, get with the program, like “new” math we have new journalistism:

    Rule #1 make up the sources that make the story seem ominous, “administration officials”, “defense dept insiders”, “deep cover intelligence operative” all work well.

    Rule #2 is always verify the information with your democrat colleagues to make sure you’ve done the best job of slander possible.

    Rule #3 is save the column space for IMPORTANT stories. Ink costs money, so don’t waste it on any stories that might make a republican look good.

    Rule #4 is always be unfair to conservatives. Always make progs look good.

    Rule #5 is the most important. The most important factors in a news story is that it is Clear, Concise and Accurately depicts conservatives as heartless hitler acolyte’s.

    It is not that hard to masquerade as a journalist

    Walker Evans in reply to Mac45. | February 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    When I was in college back in the Stone Age I kept Kraft Mac & Cheese on the table (Ramen not being available then) by working in the local radio/tv station newsroom, keeping coffee readily available, emptying trash, pulling AP & UPI stories off the teletype, and writing quite a bit of the local/regional new copy for the “talent” to read on air.

    My mentor was a actual reporter who knew how to talk to people, dig out facts, eliminate obvious (and some not-so-obvious) bias and report the same without adding his own opinions. One of his favorite sayings, one have I found over the years to be all too sadly true, goes as follows: “In general, journalism majors are most suited to attempting to teach journalism to other journalism majors!”

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Walker Evans. | February 3, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Very telling. RE: “In general, journalism majors are most suited to attempting to teach journalism to other journalism majors!”

“Rule #2 is always verify the information that you receive. People LIE. And, if you print a lie, then, to all appearances, you are a liar too.”

Even as an alter kocker, I keep being surprised by people who are willing to lie for an ill-defined “larger” cause, and by their amazing ability to lie so expeditiously when an opportunity presents itself.

See,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/02/01/tale-of-an-iraqi-woman-dying-because-of-trump-travel-ban-unravels/?utm_term=.88952867e677

The gut-wrenching story of the Iraqi family spread quickly across the Internet on Tuesday, depicting what seemed to be among the most calamitous examples of a family torn apart by President Trump’s order temporarily barring people from seven countries from entering the United States. A Michigan man claimed his sick Iraqi mother died a day after being turned away from traveling to the U.S. as a result of the executive order.

“They destroyed us,” the man, Mike Hager, told Detroit’s Fox 2, claiming that if his mother had made it to the United States as scheduled, she would have received the medical treatment necessary to survive. A number of national news outlets published the account, linking to the original interview.

But late Tuesday night, the story began to fall apart. The local Fox affiliate “received many questions about the validity of Hager’s claims that his mother died waiting to be approved to come home,” it wrote. On Wednesday afternoon, the Fox station published a story with the headline: “Man who claimed mom died in Iraq after Trump’s ban lied, Imam confirms.”

Sources close to the family also told The Washington Post that the man appears to have fabricated the tale.

A leading imam in Dearborn, Mich., who oversees a congregation of primarily Iraqi refugees, including Hager’s family, said Hager’s mother actually died at least five days before Trump’s executive order was put into place.

The imam, Husham Al-Husainy, said Hager sent him a message last month informing him that he would be traveling to Iraq to see his sick mother, Naimma. On Jan. 22 — two days after Trump was inaugurated [and 5 days before the executive order was issued— community members and posts on Facebook informed Al-Husainy of the woman’s death. She had been living in Iraq for quite some time, and she died in Karbala, Iraq of kidney failure, he said.

“”…keep our own counsel so we can do our reporting without being suspected of personal animus. We need to do that in the U.S., too.””

Great. Let’s become EVEN MORE dishonest…. Brilliant.

“”…to what extent those attacks will be accompanied by legal restrictions on our news-gathering.””

Really? Because Trump is thoroughly disgusted with, and p.o.’d at
the press (not without reason, either)
he next jumps to comparing our
government to the absolute
totalitarian regime of IRAN, and fearmongering that the new U.S. Administration might somehow uproot and overturn the Freedom of the Press just because some of them may not be getting their free pastries and coffee every morning in the White House? Are these people insane or what?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

RE: “Get out into the country and learn more about how people live, what they think, what helps and hurts them, and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.”

Did Adler add “so we can all help the Democrat Party some more”
to that statement? IMO that is what Adler means by that statement.

    “…and how the government and its actions appear to them, not to us.”

    Reminds me of the old story about a self-centered guy who took a girl out to dinner: “…but enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What does a girl like you think about guys like me?”

    (I sure which I could get permission to repost that cartoon on Ricochet.)

Most of what Adler wrote appears to be for public consumption. Why do I say this? Because the basis for his new way of looking at the US is to throw the US into the mix of ratbag countries where people get tortured, killed, jailed and worse (Mind you, he wouldn’t want to upset the really ratbag countries by including some of what I just wrote).

“…To state the obvious, Reuters is a global news organization that reports independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack. I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists…”

They had better be careful. If journalists start reporting the actual news with actual information gleaned from public opinion honestly, then they run the risk of the DNC no longer paying them.

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