THERE are many different types of journalism practised in Reuters, across text, television, picture services and online. No one definition of our craft applies to them all.
What must unite us is honesty and integrity. We often face difficult choices in the pursuit of better stories and superior images. In such situations there are several “right” answers and the rules we use run out.
We can, however, guard against damage to our reputation through a shared understanding of the fundamental principles that govern our work.
The 10 Absolutes of Reuters Journalism
• Always hold accuracy sacrosanct
• Always correct an error openly
• Always strive for balance and freedom from bias
• Always reveal a conflict of interest to a manager
• Always respect privileged information
• Always protect their sources from the authorities
• Always guard against putting their opinion in a news story
• Never fabricate or plagiarise
• Never alter a still or moving image beyond the requirements of normal image enhancement
• Never pay for a story and never accept a bribe
Accuracy is at the heart of what we do. It is our job to get it first but it is above all our job to get it right. Accuracy, as well as balance, always takes precedence over speed.
Reuters is transparent about errors. We rectify them promptly and clearly, whether in a story, a caption, a graphic or a script. We do not disguise or bury corrections in subsequent leads or stories.
Our Corrections Policy is outlined in this Handbook.
Accuracy entails honesty in sourcing. Our reputation for that accuracy, and for freedom from bias, rests on the credibility of our sources. A Reuters journalist or camera is always the best source on a witnessed event.
A named source is always preferable to an unnamed source.