Reuters chief outlines approach to Trump coverage

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LizKat, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #1
    This is a pretty good read.

    Excerpt:

    In a message to staff today, Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler wrote about covering President Trump the Reuters way:

    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.

    Read on from the lnk at top this post for his Do's and Don'ts to the reporting staff.

    The one I like the best is this.

    --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.

    I don't think the press is Trump's opposition, but I think Trump and Bannon think there's a big payoff to them if they keep saying it and the press gets annoyed, rises to the bait and keeps losing it every time they strive to put out a really great edition and then read some Trump tweet about fake news... That's one of Bannon's things. The press needs to #resist all those WH attempts to gaslight them. Maybe by ignoring them, since activist fact-checking on that score only generates more gaslighting effort. Report the news as best and fairly as possible and go the hell home and play with the kids. Leave the phone in a drawer!

    The Reuters chief is right, they do do a good job reporting on Iran by working with sources (since the government handouts are BS) so there's no reason they can't do a good job the same way in reporting on the USA. Ignore the bait tossing antics of Bannon & Co and just dig for good sources.
     
  2. TonyC28, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #2
    "We respond to all of these by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly,..."

    Another news outlet that needs to recommit to reporting honestly. Wouldn't it be best to say something like "continue to report fairly and honestly"? You'd think they would remember how bad that sounded coming from the New York Times.

    Here's what I took from what he wrote and how he could have easily summed it up:
    Trump is not going to shy away from calling the media out. And let's be honest, the media has been caught time and time again misrepresenting facts, so be on your A-game and don't give them anything to say.
     
  3. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #3
    **** reuters!
    **** the MSM!

    Obsolete relict from the past.

    Go Donnie Trump!
     
  4. unlinked, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    That bit is pretty poor. Reporters should avoid been driven by personal animus not just the rest of us working it out.

    This bit is better

    "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."
     
  5. Scepticalscribe, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #5
    And nor should the media shy away from calling Mr Trump and his administration out.

    Remember, he will continue to govern as he started, which was exactly how he ran his campaign: And for amnesiacs, that campaign included a forceful and unending mixture of lies, half-truths, "alt-fact", bullying, bragging, insults, gas-lighting, misdirections, identifying enemies within, and - when none of that worked - exclusion.

    Excellent thread, @LizKat: The media has been partly complicit in the rise to power of Mr Trump, because he generated headlines, sales, viewed, readers, and they happily reported on all of this, yet failed to even begin to try to hold him to account until it was far too late.

    For them, it is good to contemplate and consider the rules of engagement with the new administration, because this man thrives on not only the "oxygen of publicity" but on the shock value of the stunned reactions to his unexpected tweets in the small hours of the night, or early morning.

    The media will have to learn not to respond automatically to such tempting stimuli, and to manage their reaction when it does occur.

    And, a future remains for fact-checkers. For the media, fewer interns, and a bit more old-fashioned checking, and double-checking of material, facts, sources might be called for.

    Just because the old fashioned virtues of good journalism cost money, and do not readily show a profit, does not mean they are not most valuable, and ought not be funded - not least, as we are now learning - in what are deemed "flawed" democracies, such as the US.
     
  6. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #6
    Some, myself included, would say that if they were doing the job of the media in the first place they wouldn't have to change a thing no matter who or what they were covering.
     
  7. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #7
    really? it's pretty clear and has been since the day he started running they are out to try hurt him at every chance they get. I have been watching Spicer's conferences and can't believe some of the dumb questions being asked in this gotcha game of media politics.
    they clearly get annoyed when they are the ones called out and stupid questions are rightfully ignored.
     
  8. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I was under the impression that when it comes to political reporting, this is #1. Could they be any more out of touch with reality?
     
  9. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #9
    yes and when they get out in the country and talk to people they need to talk to an equal number of people with various view points.
     
  10. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #10

    During the election, Trump had his fellow nominees and then Hillary as the Enemy. Now that the election is over - he needs a daily Enemy. It serves as a smokescreen and something he can keep finger pointing. Some of the the best thing the media can do (in my opinion)

    a) not give KA any more air time.
    b) fact check and not let comments slip by, but be respectful
    c) ensure the tone of articles (not opinion pieces) and commentary is professional
    d) focus on the issues - not the crazy attention grabbing tweets or side comments
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #11
    Sounds to me like a very sensible set of rules of engagement for this Administration, who have been able to set the narrative with the release of provocative tweets and statements.

    The media needs to learn to be far more proactive, and less reactive.
     
  12. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #12
    Don't forget the Reuters chief's piece was addressed to journalists struggling to deal with a naked assault upon all mainstream journalism in an attempt to label it "fake news" in its entirety. The reason I put this first:

    --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
    is because public reaction of reporters understandably upset by daily bullying and blanket disrespect from the White House only serves as a signal to the White House that it's working, so keep it up. If I had someone calling me a fake news liberal gossipmonger or whatever every time I got a letter to the editor printed in the newspaper, and I wrote back to tell the newspaper and the reader community how frustrating it was to have to deal with people who don't understand my right to exercise the First Amendment,,,, I'd get double-down on the feedback of the same type. Just because their work is professional reporting and mine is armchair quarterbacking, doesn't make the experience of being attacked for it any less annoying.

    Annoying as it is, however, namecalling is just namecalling. The reporters have to grow that thick skin back again. It's not arrogant to have made some mistakes and then pick yourself up, dust off, review lessons, get back on the horse and go back to the job.

    In that particular suggestion, I believe Reuters was just reminding their staff to keep focus on the work at hand and let the White House go crazy trying to relocate that thrilling sense of having thrown mainstream reporters off balance. If that's a main WH mission in the eyes of the White House PR machine, then the reporters who stay profressional and give no cause for credible accusation of personal antagonism towards the government will make out like bandits in the end, which may come sooner than the WH denizens believe.

    The reason I didn't put your choice:

    "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."

    at the top of my own list is because I read Reuters fairly often and think they do a great job at that already, around the world as well as here in the states.... far better than the mainstream papers who pick up their feeds and don't always pick up the pieces that reflect that effort by Reuters.

    LOL maybe the reason Reuters even included that bit in their exhortation to their own reporters is that they read the mainstream papers too and realize those papers are now trying to do a little better along those lines in their own reporting. One doesn't actually pray for a customer to be making his own pasta and finding it better than what's for sale at the shop.



     
  13. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #13
    What kind of mistakes are you talking about?
     
  14. LizKat, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #14
    I will like to believe you are not being disingenous, so my reponse assumes you're not.

    As someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries, I feel the NYT more or less "forgot to notice" he was in the race for an inexcusable length of time. I guess if you were a major fan of Hillary Clinton you might not have had any complaints. I regard that as a mistake that the NYT made in its coverage of primary races of the Democrats last spring.

    A lot of people fault the Times, the Washington Post and assorted cable outlets as biased against Donald Trump from the get go. I have a few things to say about that. One is that his core fans accept nothing less than adulation as appropriate treatment of Donald Trump in the press. Another is that I disagree with the now popular notion that the press and pollsters blew forecasts of this election because they ignore what "real Americans" really want. I believe the pollsters got this election within margin of error for the most part and that it was both sides who both thought the margin would be much bigger and favor their own side. And, I believe the main reason for that was simply that both candidates were extremely unlikeable, detestable if you prefer,,,, and the campaign focused mostly on WHY THAT WAS IN BOTH CASES. It was double down on negatives. They both sucked.

    So... anyone who favored Trump might well have thought the paper was all negative about him. Well he's a really negative guy with a really negative track record in the eyes of anyone the least bit concerned with character. Likewise Mrs. Clinton to some extent with her penchant for taking shortcuts and otherwise skating in the margins of what is permissible.

    The bigger problem there with coverage of Clinton, as far as her opponents were concerned, is that Mrs. Clinton wasn't in jail. Remember I said Trump's core supporters required only adulation from the media towards their candidate. Well the same group required only condemnation from media towards Clinton. Any perceived deviation from required attitude towards either candidate translates to extreme bias with that mindset.

    So if one starts with the premise that a candidate should be in jail and reads political coverage of a campaign for six months and candidate is still not in jail, even after Comey's somersaults around her shortcomings,, then "of course" the coverage was biased. LOL I have often enough imagined Trump behind bars for some of the stuff he's pulled but that's just my opinion and I know it. Trump's core supporters seemed to think it was gospel Clinton should be in jail, which, sorry to disappoint, is just not the case because do you really think after 40 years of trying, the far right would not have her there by now if they had only been able to find the right prosecutor, judge, jury and warden?

    And the ironic thing is that Trump's more likely to destroy this country than is Hillary Clinton. There's no accounting for when a country tips towards a strongman and signs up for decline into fascism without realizing it. We're not quite there with this guy because of our Constitution but it won't be for his and Bannon's trying if we escape that fate.

    Although unlike some I don't regard the NYT publisher's open letter as admission the Times "screwed up" coverage of the campaigns of 2016, I do believe the Times has made a larger effort since the election to ensure they don't slant news by omission. I've seen crap about Trump reported on the front page that I wouldn't even bother reporting, but there it is for us to read and for the right in particular to not even notice since they castigate the Times unread for not reporting on Trump correctly.

    I have always felt the Times and WaPo are professional in identifying "analysis" and "opinion" versus reporting pieces that focus on who what where when.

    The "why" is often a challenge in straight reporting. Readers want to know why. Reporters covering politics try to answer it by getting quotes from all "sides" of an issue. There's always room to carp about something in that setup and my sympathies lie with both the quoted, the reporter and the reader in those situations.

    Context is everything. A widely read person has more context in mind even while reading such an article than does someone who's reading about some event or issue for the first time while reading a particular piece. It's possible in that situation as a reader to be more, or less, concerned about biased reporting. I've read pieces in the Times where I'd already learned a lot about the issue itself from a variety of domestic or international sources, and in reading the Times piece was not particularly concerned about whether the Times had a "slant" on the issue in general or in that piece, I would be skimming for anything "news to me" about the thing.

    One's reason for reading a piece is part of context, in my opinion. I will freely admit that I regard Breitbart as hyper-partisan and that I read it looking to confirm my opinion that it's exactly that. When I read the NYT, which I regard as mainstream, I am rarely looking to confirm that the Times is anything but a newspaper of record. It's obvious to me that its editorial side leans left save a few token columnists. I accept that. I expect its editorial lean not to affect its reporting. I have as noted above, sometimes been disappointed in that regard with respect to the NYT.

    Any newspaper can be biased in ways I might be unaware while reading a particular piece, often enough it's stuff that in a major paper like the Times, it's something the public editor may get involved in later, i.e. some overlap of editorial and publishing concerns.

    In reading smaller papers, say one of the chains of papers like CNHI owns, one actually needs to know a little bit about the publisher to be able to account for some of the stuff that turns up on the front page now and then and seems out of the norm for the local paper in question. In theory the papers have independent editorial control. In practice,,,, a suggestion might be taken now and then.

    So.... you asked what kind of mistakes reporters make and I answered by taking the Times to task. I could have hammered some on the WaPo but I chose to give them a pass today. Fair and balanced criticism of newspapers of record LOL.

    Full disclosure: I own 100 shares in NYT

    What kind of mistakes do you think reporters make?
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    Excellent, thoughtful, and carefully constructed and well considered post.

    For my part, among other publications, I subscribe to The Economist, which is an excellent publication, but - when reading it - I am aware of where they stand on certain issues.

    Accordingly, I filter for that, or factor it in, when I am reading it.
     
  16. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #16
    That's a great example. I too read that, not least to be reassured that the world is still round and has a whole lot of countries in it that all have some kind of government happening or unhappening LOL. And yes, discounting some for certain views makes it possible for me to thoroughly enjoy my subscription. I could paper my stairwell walls with some of their covers if I didn't usually have New Yorkers up and down that "gallery". I regret for that reason no longer taking the hard copy...

    As for taking views into account while reading, the same goes with the FT for me. They have their views, I am aware of them and am comfortable reading new in the FT in that discounted context. I appreciate the international pieces and financial coverage especially, even when their views are not my cup of tea. I would not trade in Lunch with the FT for anything even if I have my own opinions of the guests and occasionally with the columnist as well :rolleyes: not to mention their menu and venue choices. Thinking of the time he took the CEO of IBM out to lunch one day at what sounded like a pretty chintzy if not actual dive restaurant of her choosing. His mentioning it seemed cruel, actually but hey, where was her PR dude not making a reservation somewhere techy-cool. Answer: IBM HQ maybe not the place to look for techy-cool? Try the upstate chip fab consortium with SUNY lol. Anyway I'd eat rice and beans for breakfast to renew the FT if push came to shove.
     
  17. Scepticalscribe, Feb 1, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    I still take the hard copy. Brothers read it, and borrow it, while - when I am home - I far prefer reading a 'hard copy' than something online.

    When I first took out a subscription, and I worked abroad, my mother (before her dementia kicked in) used to love reading it, - particularly in bed - so I kept the hard copy as well as the online version.

    And, apart from factoring in (or filtering out) political and economic perspectives - I sometimes read the Daily Telegraph - and your excellent example - the Financial Times, to keep abreast of stuff I might not otherwise encounter; besides, the writing is usually very elegant, and, anyway, I also use the filter of what I know about to decide whether what I am reading makes sense.

    If a publication writes extraordinarily clueless stuff about a country I have worked in, - or something that I know something about - this is usually a very good reason to treat what else they produce with considerable caution, or, at least, with some degree of scepticism.

    My father had visited the US in the 50s, and took out a subscription to TIME magazine which he kept up for around 40 years. He kept some of the back issues, too.

    In the late 80s, I recall unearthing some of the issues from the late 60s that he had kept, and those were the days when TIME actually wrote well. One of them had a review of one of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's books - either the "Gulag Archipelago" or "The First Circle", I have forgotten which one of them the review was about.

    But I do remember my shock. My issue was that I had actually read everything Solzhenitsyn had written by then, and, reading this review of a recently published book from over 20 years earlier, it was perfectly clear to me that the reviewer hadn't even opened the the first page of the book he was reviewing. Suffice to say, I read their book reviews with a rather jaundiced eye from then on.
     
  18. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #18
    In terms of this election, if you want to call what happened to Bernie Sanders a mistake then I think we'll probably disagree on the issue as a whole. I suppose it was a mistake too when the media, across the board and including Fox News, literally pretended that Ron Paul didn't exist. Even Jon Stewart of all people did segments on it. Donald Trump has unfortunately become the spokesman for it, but the media needs to be held to account sometimes. I absolutely believe the open letter from NYT was an admission of some wrongdoing on their part. And now Reuters too. ABC had to apologize for editing Ari Fleischer's words to make it sound like he was criticizing Sean Spicer. Remember when NBC edited George Zimmerman's 911 call? There is a reason why there is a lack of trust in the media. Maybe they all need to re-dedicate/recommit themselves to being fair and honest.
     
  19. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    #19
    Has there been an international reporter that talked in detail (book, memoirs etc.) of how they conducted journalism in militarized and anti-journalists countries? This would be useful guide for journalists moving forward...
     
  20. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I thought this podcast was interesting on media bias (hopefully this is the right one,I listened to it a few days ago)

    http://meetthepress1947.nbcnews.lib...-be-biased-but-dont-tell-the-press-to-shut-up
     
  21. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #21
    What I wonder about is how will we agree that (or if) the media is being more upfront, when the right --and Trump/Bannon in particular-- have adopted Fake News! as the clarion call of the day.

    It used to be "liberal media!" was the designated accusation of mainstream media. Its overuse as epithet certainly didn't kill the First Amendment, so now the weapon is "Fake News". That's harder to refute when the right has decided that everything mainstream media produces will get the fake news label.

    Kinda like when Nixon said he wasn't a crook? I mean if you have to go there...

    "I am not a fake news producer..."

    I definitely see why the Reuters chief says to his staffers don't go there, don't get insulted and start trading with the White House at that level. They need to just go do the work and go home tired and true and be damned if someone calls truth fake news.

    "The truth will out" is still no lie and I don't care who labels it fake news. The truth is a snapshot from a moving train, nonetheless it's not fake news that Donald Trump tells some whoppers now and then (rinse, repeat) and the observable fact that he brushes off his lies doesn't make those fake lies. They are real lies.

    That the Times or WaPo or Reuters prints "falsely said" is not fake, when he verifiably told a falsehood; it's a report of a falsehood uttered by Donald Trump, so a reader may do with that whatever a reader chooses to do. I as a reader would conclude that he lied. Maybe some other reader can pretzel "falsely said" into "The media are browbeating Trump with fake news again" but I can't go there.

    Mr. Trump has some tics or obsessions or something, and one of them is he hates to be seen as anything but top dog and he's easily baited into obsession over how he must have done/been/had the very very best even if... that was not the case. He gets himself into these jams but his fans do tend to take the press to task for correcting misinformation he puts on offer.

    That is the job of the press, to challenge BS. Plus really it's to the advantage of the right to stop buying Trump/Bannon wholesale and start having a look at how draining the swamp is really going. All this talk of ditching regulations, starting with pieces of Dodd-Frank that the banking industry finds so annoying... that is not draining the swamp. That is clearing speed bumps for a raid and getaway gig. Do we want to be standing on the runway waving goodbye to the cargo planes as they carry away the loot? Because that's what will happen if we buy Trump/Bannon lock stock and barrel.

    I realize that "the media" are one of the oligarchies, and that money talks. So far I worry less about that with newspapers than with the broadcast and cable outlets. With local papers now, which still exist but often belong to a chain, I worry less about the chain than that no one's reading what happening in the town council meetings as reported individually by reporters in the various newspapers owned by the chain.

    But at least, so far, an editor does still send some hapless reporter down to document what happens at a town meeting. If no one reads the stuff? Then maybe everything's fake. How would we know? Trump/Bannon don't care. They hope we give up reading newspapers except for whatever Sean Spicer hands out at the briefings. Fake news as the only news.

    The video broadcast/cable media don't have the same level of competition as local newspapers can still provide --taking into account vibrant weeklies-- although there's plenty of stuff goes viral from video bloggers, and those may take a beating if Trump trashes net neutrality.

    Finally, I worry about DoJ having let too much consolidation happen in too many industries, but particularly in media and now specifically in cable, telecom and broadband. If you're in the White House and you've managed to convince the bulk of the country that the behemoths, the corporately owned media outlets, all dish out fake news, then you don't have to play whack-a-mole with the press on disagreeable reporting at all, really. You brief the handful of mainstream press outlets and tell them to print it and when they don't you call whatever they do print Fake News, and then you have your dutiful niche minions dish out your handouts as gospel. We're not quite there yet but mergers and acquisitions are paving the way for it to be easier.
     
  22. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #22
    I appreciate the response. You're very well-spoken/written. However I do disagree. If the media had been doing their job all along with honesty and integrity they wouldn't even have to defend themselves. But they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar too many times and now they can't take the moral high ground. I'm not saying Trump is a great guy or president or whatever, but the media has brought this on themselves.
     

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