No credit to Reuters from competitors

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Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review writes about how competing business news media did not credit Reuters’ investigative work last year on Chesapeake Energy for the announcement Tuesday that its CEO was stepping down.

Chittum writes, “Beat reporters tend and their bosses not to like to give credit to competitors who have scooped them repeatedly.

“The Wall Street Journal doesn’t deign to mention Reuters at all in its Marketplace cover piece, which is a big hole in its story. Bloomberg is chintzy, crediting “media reports” rather than its top competitor. That’s pathetic, but at least it mentioned the press’s role, unlike the Journal.

“The New York Times gives Reuters its due. But the Financial Times is most generous and, not coincidentally, most accurate, writing this in its fourth paragraph:

Shareholders including Carl Icahn, the activist investor, forced a shake-up of the board last year after the revelation by Reuters of Mr McClendon’s previously undisclosed borrowings intensified concerns about corporate governance.

“It might be cynical to note that Reuters is more of a competitor to the WSJ (Dow Jones) and Bloomberg than it is to the FT and the NYT, but there it is. By ignoring or downplaying a competitor’s scoop, particularly one that sent a company’s shares down 10 percent at one point, you’re not telling the whole story.”

Read more here.