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Reuters Pay-for-Exclusive Leads to False Claims, Abuse of Power & UNCA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 3 -- Why would a professional reporter, when shown that the material in a story he had labeled "exclusive" had in fact been published and put in Google News by another smaller media more than five hours before refuse to withdraw the false "exclusive" claim?

  As reported yesterday, this has happened since June 30 with Reuters.

 On June 30, five hours after Inner City Press exclusively reported the UK's flip-flop on opposing then supporting the removal from UN sanctions of London-based Saudi dissident Sa'ad Rashed Mohammad al-Faqih, Reuters Louis Charbonneau put up the same story, impermissibly labeling his as "exclusive."

  Inner City Press immediately showed Charbonneau. that its story had been tweeted and in Google News five hours before. But Charbonneau refused to withdraw his "exclusive" claim.

  He now threatens to use the Correspondents' Association Kafka-esque bureaucracy in his own defense, charging Inner City Press with undefined "harassment" and unethical reporting.

Charbonneau, his Pioli and others have not responded to the legal letter of June 28, nor to two requests for the agenda of the meeting they propose, for a time uncertain on the day before the 4th of July holiday.

  Charbonneau has refused to withdraw his "exclusive" claim. Why? Well, ethical questions have been raised about Reuters policy on paying for exclusives.  On the below, unlike Reuters or at least Charbonneau, we give full credit to and link to Talking Biz News:

The following e-mail was sent to Reuters reporters from Martin Howell, the news editor for company news in the Americas, about what the wire service wants from its business reporters in terms of beating the competition:

'We are spending a lot of time writing and approving notes recording beats and exclusives... Performance goals will change... We want:

Exclusives that lead to significant share price moves. By significant we generally mean 2 percent plus for a big cap company and 5 percent plus for a small cap.

Timings beats in minutes not seconds that lead to stock price moves as above. We have to be particularly careful about our timings information against Dow Jones, which can be unreliable depending on how it is measured, and to be safe we shouldn’t record a beat win against Dow if it is less than 5 minutes without an additional assessment by an EIC.

Stories that really set the news agenda, even if they don’t move share prices. Here are two examples — Jim Wolf’s great exclusive in December on Obama eyeing arms sales to Taiwan, and Jim Finkle’s exclusive on an unknown flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser that allowed Chinese cyber attacks on Google and other businesses.

Timings wins of more than a few seconds from a massive court case, like Madoff, Bear Stearns...

What we don’t want to be filed as beat notes:

Modest/incremental developments in a deal story that don’t move prices of securities.

Timings wins of only a few seconds.

Stories that required major corrections.

When we beat Dow and Bloomberg but were beaten by local media.

  And that appears to be the problem, and why the already Kafka-esque UNCA "Board of Examination" process is being re-heated, without any provision of agenda, and despite putting UNCA into jeopardy. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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