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Manfred Pagel - Great newsman, outstanding financial editor

Manfred was a great newsman, and he was an outstanding financial editor. He was also extraordinarily kind and, once you got past the shyness, he could be incredibly witty. 


As European editor he certainly had his battles with the old World Desk, which always regarded him as a humourless "Econ man" who didn't get what general news was all about. That was, in fact, entirely wrong. He always had a firm grip on the ongoing news agenda and was brilliant at developing and promoting the most talented journalists. He also deserved credit for bringing women and non-Brits into the senior ranks at both bureau and desk level.

Behind the scenes he was a tenacious fighter for increased Editorial funding and renowned for his stubborn refusal to back down in battles with regional and country managers who would all too often try to meet their cost savings targets by slashing editorial. 


Manfred became a Fleet Street legend by occasionally wandering down to the Bell Tavern mid-morning to eyeball the deskers who had slipped out during their tea breaks to sink the first pint of the day. He was determined to stamp out the ingrained booze culture on the fourth floor and made himself deeply unpopular doing it.


That did not bother him at all - he knew this was a battle he had to win as part of his drive to create a modern, efficient newsroom as the hub of the best reporting network in Europe.  


Manfred deserves enormous credit for his part in Reuters history - and all who worked with him will retain fond memories of his intelligence, shrewdness and occasionally wicked humorous asides. ■