Reuters Instructs Reporters to Cover Trump Like an Authoritarian Regime

By Published on February 1, 2017

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler used examples of Reuter’s reporting in authoritarian regimes, to issue new guidance on the way his news organization would cover the Trump administration.

Reuters is a worldwide wire news service that operates in nearly 100 countries. Adler noted in his company-wide missive that covering the first 12 days of President Donald Trump’s administration has been “especially challenging for us in the news business.”

He raised President Donald Trump’s earlier comments that journalists are “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon’s declaration that the media is the “opposition party” to the administration.

Adler said Reuter’s central mission would not change amid these circumstances because it already knows how to report in countries in “which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack.” He highlighted the news organization’s “work in Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia,” all of which are authoritarian regimes.

He warns, “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.” He then issued a series of do’s and don’ts guidance to his reporters in the U.S. Adler even raised the news organization’s sources in Iran, as an example of how to do reporting in the future Trump administration.

He closes his staff-wide message saying that the Trump administration is an opportunity for us to practice the skills we’ve learned in much tougher places around the world.”


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