Paul Julius Reuter, who established Reuter’s News Service in the mid-1800’s and which remains an important news service to this day, deeply believed in two principles to which he demanded complete adherence from his people…. Speed and Truth. Media outlets who bought his reports also respected those same principles. (Really, they did!)
Undoubtedly, one half of those principles… Speed… has continued to be important to the media. In fact, it has advanced to the point that news reports today are almost instantaneous and the struggle to be first to report the news remains as fierce as it was in Reuter’s time.
However, the other half of his principles… Truth… seems to be of much less, and
sometimes, no importance to the media today, which is confusing since the end users of their product, the people, want, need and demand the truth. I don’t know about everyone else, but I have a difficult time believing that much of the news we hear or read today has not been slanted, manipulated or had something edited out (like the truth).
Knowing how much he valued the truth, I think Julius Reuter would be very disappointed to see that the news business today, which he played a large part in creating, has become an information source which can not be trusted to tell the truth, no matter how fast we get it.
Perfect slogan for today’s media: “News at the speed of lies.”