Reuters Instructs Reporters to Cover Trump Like Any Other Authoritarian

This is where we are.

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Reuters editor-in-chief Steve Adler sent a letter to staff Wednesday with recommendations on how to cover the Trump administration. The message suggests that the news organization’s journalists should report on Trump’s actions the same as they do other authoritarian regimes around the world.

“The first 12 days of the Trump presidency (yes, that’s all it’s been!) have been memorable for all—and especially challenging for us in the news business. It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists 'among the most dishonest human beings on earth' or that his chief strategist dubs the media 'the opposition party.' It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new administration,” Adler wrote.

The letter goes on to pose several possible methods Reuters might take for future Trump news coverage, ultimately concluding that “[w]e already know what to do because we do it every day, and we do it all over the world.”

"To state the obvious, Reuters is a global news organization that reports independently and fairly in more than 100 countries, including many in which the media is unwelcome and frequently under attack,” Adler continued. “I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.”

The memo concludes with a rallying cry, lest staffers adopt “too dark a view” of what they’re up against in the hostile environment created by Trump and his circle. “It’s an opportunity for us to practice the skills we’ve learned in much tougher places around the world,” Adler concludes, “and to lead by example.”

Read the letter in its entirety.




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Kali Holloway is a senior writing fellow and the senior director of Make It Right, a project of the Independent Media Institute.