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As Wannabe Hipster Reuters Studies Bloomberg, Tone Deaf on Free Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Media Comparison

UNITED NATIONS, April 11 -- That mega corporations nevertheless want to appear to be hip is, well, a symptom of cultural hegemony.

  Take Reuters: their business is selling information to high frequency stock traders. In this, they underperform for example Bloomberg and its terminals.

  But Reuters is hip, or wants to be. It has a social media editor, it looks at the business models of BuzzFeed, of Google allowing people to designate heirs for their data -- even of Bloomberg moving to include the tweets of some high profile economists and pundits in their terminals.

  You might think that such a company, seeming to favor the free flow of information and even freedom of the press, would pause when one of its bureau chiefs was caught, via the Freedom of Information Act, lobbying to get a smaller media -- a blogger -- thrown off of a beat. But you'd be wrong.

  In this case, Reuters' UN bureau chief Louis Charbonneau went so far as to threaten that if the UN did not throw Inner City Press out, for articles particularly media critique that it published, he would have no choice but to ask about transferring out of the UN to another beat at Reuters.

  This threat obviously implicates Reuters and the role it has come to play for the UN and some Permanent Missions like those of the UK and France. But did Charbonneau tell his boss about the threat and do they stand behind it?

  They have been urged to inquire into their UN bureau's anti-Press moves, in their own names and as anonymous trolls. (This has continued.)

  Those asked include, so far, Stephen J. Adler, Editor in Chief, Paul Ingrassia, Deputy Editor in Chief, Walden Siew, Top News Editor, Greg McCune, “Ethics,” and one other. But despite the issues raised, twice now, this mega corporation will not respond or more importantly reform. Hip or a kingdom of trolls?

  To continue with the contrast to Bloomberg -- documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that faced with the same inquiries as Inner City Press sent in June 2012 to the Reuters quartet, Bloomberg's John Walcott, if not Matt Winkler to whom the inquiries were directed, made a decision.

 The Bloomberg correspondent who signed a letter starting the kangaroo court proceeding of the UN Correspondents Association should thereafter not participate in it, or in the campaign. While this has not entirely been carried out, it still show a difference between Bloomberg and Reuters.

  Bloomberg for whatever reason realized that attacking free press may not be a good idea, perhaps or probably only for business reasons. Reuters, the hipster wannabe, still doesn't seem to “get” this. Calling Antonio Gramsci. Watch this site.

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