BOOKS: Wires crossed at Reuters

BOOKS: Wires crossed at Reuters - Two ex-employees think they know who to blame for the catastrophic decline of the company. Roy Greenslade remembers the scoops.

by Roy Greenslade, media commentator for the Guardian

Two ex-employees think they know who to blame for the catastrophic decline of the company. Roy Greenslade remembers the scoops.

The motto of Reuters news agency from its pigeon-post beginnings in the 1860s was 'Follow the cable'. By the 1980s, it was espousing a less romantic, hard-edged slogan: 'Follow the money'. The philosophy underlying both was the importance of turning a profit by transmitting news across the world.

But there is a distinction. For 120 years, Reuters didn't worry about making money, because its reputation, along with some shrewd exploitation of subsidies, ensured its pre-eminence.

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