Manfred Pagel - solid liberal principles
Thursday 1 February 2024
In the early 1980s, Reuters General News and Reuters Economic News were merged, with Manfred Pagel appointed editor for both. This got up the noses of a number of British General News journalists. But Economic Services managers feared a General News editor on top would divert resources from profitable economic news. So, it had to be Manfred of Econ.
I myself had covered both General and Economic news, so I found the merger unobjectionable. Moreover, I had German family roots - my grandfather came from the same town as Manfred - and I had no problem having a German boss. When he visited Reuters in Zurich, I felt he was suffering from the struggles he had to fight at home, so I took him to the main German-language bookshop where he spent a happy couple of hours browsing.
In hindsight I am not sure he was a good choice as editor. It was divisive rather than inspirational and reflected rivalries in Reuters senior management. A pity - Manfred was a German with solid liberal principles. ■