Reuters denies Pulitzer report story

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The Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents Reuters reporters, has posted a story on its website where Reuters News executives have taken issue with a report from The Baron, a site that follows Reuters, that journalists are being directed to write stories that can win Pulitzers.

The Guild item states, “Stuart Karle, chief operating officer for Reuters news, and Deputy Editor-in-Chief Paul Ingrassia both vigorously denied the report, which said that they, along with Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler, had led the meeting. Karle and Ingrassia called the idea ‘stupid,’ with Ingrassia adding that it would be foolish to make Pulitzer Prizes a goal, given the slight chance of winning one.

“In a telephone conversation with Guild Unit Chair Debby Zabarenko, Karle questioned the Guild’s seriousness of purpose of reporting on and linking to The Baron’s post, which he said was factually incorrect and based on a flawed premise; Ingrassia called the Common Sense item a ‘cheap shot.’

“Both managers pointed to an all-hands email from Steve Adler on February 24, a day after The Baron issued its post, that carried the subject heading, ‘Our Path Ahead,’ as laying out the company’s true editorial strategy. Adler’s email, which summarized his presentation to company executives and owners, did not mention prizes or address any other points in The Baron’s post. Instead, it stressed the need to build on Reuters’ reputation for ‘fast, accurate and fair’ news with commentary, ‘enterprise journalism, data mining, innovative video programming, stronger financial graphics, and other ventures that provide differentiated value.’

“When asked how the Pulitzer reference might have gotten into The Baron’s post, Karle said managers had gone through the list of journalism prizes to weed out those with a ‘corporate mission.’ ‘You do this stuff (quality journalism) because it’s a good in itself,’ he said. ‘It’s explicitly not a goal to win prizes.’

Barry May, a former Reuters correspondent and editor who runs TheBaron.info, said he stands by the story.”

Read more here.