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Reuters raps three editors over FBI visit

Reuters has reprimanded three editors for failing to tell their superiors that the home of a colleague had been raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Talking Biz News said on Monday it had confirmed the reprimands from multiple sources.

Kenneth Li is no longer global editor of, while social media editor Anthony De Rosa and editor Robert MacMillan were given letters of reprimand. All three are still working at the company,” the US website said.

The actions were related to deputy social media editor Matthew Keys, who was fired by Reuters last month after he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento, California, on three criminal counts alleging that he helped members of the Anonymous collective hack into computer systems of Tribune, publisher of the Los Angeles Times. The alleged events occurred before Keys joined Reuters in January 2012 as deputy social media editor, the indictment indicated. He has maintained his innocence and claimed that his firing from Reuters was not related to the indictment.

Keys told Li and De Rosa in October that his home had been searched by the FBI, but they believed he was not being investigated. MacMillan then found out about it as well. MacMillan was told about the FBI search when Li asked him for advice on how to handle the situation. His managers did not know he was a target of the investigation until the indictment.

Keys was indicted in March and then shortly thereafter in a meeting told a group of other managers – including chief operating officer Stuart Karle, global editor for ethics and standards Alix Freedman and digital executive editor Jim Roberts – that he had told Li and De Rosa about the FBI search, Talking BizNews said.

However, apparently Jim Impoco, who was executive editor of Reuters digital, was told about the raid by either Li or DeRosa in 2012. He left the company in January. Keys was told that superiors had been informed.

“I am surprised to learn the company disciplined three of my former colleagues,” Keys told Talking Biz News on Sunday. “If true, the company’s assertion that my colleagues failed to notify anyone at Thomson Reuters about the incident is inconsistent with what I was told in October 2012.”

Talking Biz News asked Reuters at the weekend about the reprimands and the meeting at which Keys told management. A Reuters spokeswoman referred questions to Barb Burg, vice president and global head of communications, who told Talking Biz News she could not comment one way or another about the facts.

Li referred a message from Talking Biz News to Burg, while MacMillan said he did not want to talk. De Rosa and Impoco did not respond to a message.

Li is now working on a project for Reuters News, according to Burg. The project is examining how news is distributed and how to make it easier and more logical.

The reprimands are not well known within the Reuters news operation, Talking Biz News said. ■

Talking Biz News