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A bad idea

I worked as a journalist in Argentina for Reuters during a military regime (1969 to 1972) and knew that some senior figures in the Argentine military were suspicious of Reuters and assumed it had connections with the UK government. Fortunately, we were not interfered with by the Argentine government.


I also arrived in Buenos Aires on 2 April 1982 for a briefing before taking up a post in Mexico, and woke to see La Nacion newspaper under my hotel door with the headline “Las Malvinas son Argentinas”. If Reuters had signed a covenant such as Thomson Reuters signed with the UK armed forces, the Reuter personnel would probably have been jailed and the Buenos Aires office closed, rather than being allowed to continue working with the exception of some executives who moved to Brazil.


The Trust Principles were introduced to leave Reuters free to report news without answering to any government or organisation, and Thomson Reuters signing an agreement with the British armed forces completely violated the Trust Principles. Reuters would have been assumed to be a voice of the British government and would no longer be seen anywhere as a neutral international news agency.


I am glad that Thomson Reuters has been convinced that it was a bad idea and rescinded its agreement with the UK armed forces. ■

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