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Reuters shifts most US stock reporting to India

Starting some time in May, most of Reuters' US stock reports will be written from Bangalore, the Indian city where the agency has a large offshore reporting operation, The Newspaper Guild of New York said.

Unlike the London, Tokyo and other market summaries, the reports will not carry a geographic dateline. Instead of being produced by a team of New York journalists, they will be written, at least initially, by a Bangalore reporter who spent two weeks training with the New York stocks team.

The Guild - the union that represents editorial staff in the United States - said it is not clear whether the change will be good or bad for Reuters’ market coverage. 

“We’ve seen this before, with the expansion of corporate coverage to Bangalore and the subsequent decimation of the U.S.-based corporate news teams,” it said. “Because of the latest move, the New York-based stocks team’s focus will shift to reporting market participants’ views on moves in company stocks, rather than writing the stocks reports through the first half of the trading day. The closing market wraps, however, will be done by the New York team.”

The Guild said journalism practised from eight-and-a-half time zones away is always cause for concern.

“Management may say that the move will enhance market coverage, but the simple truth is that Bangalore journalists are cheaper to employ. Many clients may not notice the change… But anyone proud of Reuters’ legacy of on-the-ground reporting has to ask, what is Reuters giving up by further embracing drone journalism? How does it affect our credibility? War reporting written thousands of miles away from the action would never pass a smell test. Photos and videos can't be faked without a serious blow to reputation. But market stories, like corporate news, from half the world away are OK?” ■

The Newspaper Guild of New York