Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Nov 30 2020 34 mins 5.9k

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is Oxford University's international research centre in the comparative study of news media.

How to engage with your audience: why public editors still matter
Nov 09 2020 14 mins  
Kathy English, former public editor of the Toronto Star, discusses what public editors do, their role in ensuring accountability to readers, and how reader engagement via public editors has changed over the years. Meera Selva speaks to Kathy English, former public editor of the Toronto Star, about what public editors do, their role in ensuring accountability to readers, and how reader engagement via public editors has changed over the years in response to changes to the news environment and politics. Meera Selva is the Director of the Journalist Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute. She is a senior journalist who was a London based correspondent for the Associated Press, Africa correspondent for the Independent based in Nairobi, along with stints in business journalism at a range of publications including the Daily Telegraph. She is currently a Journalist Fellows at the Reuters Institute. Kathy English is a Canadian journalist based in Toronto. Kathy served as public editor of the Toronto Star from 2007 until July, 2020 when she stepped down from the role of adjudicating reader complaints and upholding trust and transparency standards across all of Torstar Corp's news platforms. Kathy is chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, a national non-profit organization that promotes excellence in journalism and engages broader audiences in public discussions about journalism's mission in a democracy.

Who are most vulnerable to misinformation about the pandemic
Oct 27 2020 27 mins  
Federica Cherubini speaks with Rasmus Nielsen and Richard Fletcher, two of the authors of a recent report about the coronavirus communication crisis in the UK. Federica Cherubini speaks with Rasmus Nielsen and Richard Fletcher, two of the authors of a recent report about the coronavirus communication crisis in the UK. The report stresses that a large minority of the population is at risk of being misinformed or uninformed about the pandemic and includes useful lessons for journalists and policymakers worldwide. Federica Cherubini is Head of Leadership Development at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. She is an expert in newsroom operations and organisational change, with ten years' experience spanning major publishers, research institutes and editorial networks around the world. Dr Richard Fletcher is a Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute, and Team Leader of the Research Team. He is primarily interested in global trends in digital news consumption, comparative media research, the use of social media by journalists and news organizations, and more broadly, the relationship between technology and journalism. Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Press/Politics from 2015 to 2018. His work focuses on changes in the news media, political communication, and the role of digital technologies in both

News in the digital age, and how The Economist fits in
May 21 2015 39 mins  
Tom Standage – Digital Editor, The Economist, spoke at the Business and Practice of Journalism seminar on Wednesday 7 May 2014. “We’re the view from the moon.” That’s The Economist’s biggest selling point, according to Digital Editor Tom Standage. He said the increasing demand for a less parochial serving of news is what sets his ‘newspaper’ apart in a crowded global market. “We’re for aliens that speak English,” he laughed. After studying engineering and computer science at Oxford University, Standage began his career as a freelance technology writer before joining The Guardian as it was setting up its first website. “I wrote a script to render the headlines in the right font, because I wanted it to look and feel like The Guardian,” he said. From there he wrote for the Daily Telegraph before joining The Economist as a science writer, business editor, and eventually Digital Editor. Standage says being global and being a weekly has allowed The Economist to make a relatively seamless transition to the web. Their 1.6 million subscribers ensure they’re profitable; the company posted an operating profit of £68 million last year. The Economist’s digital strategy is neither to push nor prevent traditional print readers from migrating to their digital offer. “We’re agnostic about whether they take print or digital in their subscription. It’s just ‘you decide’,” he said. Most revenue comes from subscribers and not ads. “We’ll take the print-advertising money while it’s there, but our success is not predicated on ads,” he explained. Standage points to several digital innovations as hallmarks of The Economist’s success online. “Our Daily Charts blog includes quite jolly charts on both serious issues and things like which country has had the most plastic surgery ( “We shouldn’t be a brand that does well on social media but these charts are working very well for us.” The other innovation Standage is proud of is The Economist’s “essays” including one on democracy ( These are long-form interactive essays with embedded pictures, graphs, and charts. He says unlike The New York Times which had many journalists and developers working for months on their famed Snowfall presentation ( or The Guardian with Firestorm (, The Economist prefers to turn out shorter presentations more often. Standage was critical of media companies such as The Atlantic, Quartz, and BuzzFeed which use native ads with a similar look and feel to editorial content. He said The Economist labels their ads and places them in a separate area of the website to general content. The Economist does have blogs that are sponsored (such as the one sponsored by GE) but Standage insists readers do realise the content is still independent of GE and written by a journalist. Video continues to be a challenge for The Economist and Standage admitted most of their “abstract, complex ideas don’t lend themselves to video treatments.” He also stressed that transparency is more important than objectivity. “You can be as biased as you like as long as you tell people your biases,” he said. “We were founded in 1843 to campaign for free trade, and we always tell you where we’re coming from.” Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales;

53 Years of Media and Politics
Nov 04 2010 83 mins  
Dr. David Butler brings his legendary Friday evening Media and Politics seminar to a final conclusion by answering questions instead of asking them. Dr Butler's well-worn armchair was occupied by John Lloyd (of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), who assumed the role of the questioner, together with Baroness Margaret Jay, a former student of Dr Butler. Also for the first time in 53 years, the Chatham House Rule did not apply. The last seminar of David Butler was, uniquely, on-the-record. Bringing together journalists and politicians in an Oxford common room was the revolutionary invention of the young don in 1957. Butler introduced the off-the-record rule for the seminars so that the civil service mandarins, leading politicians and journalists could speak freely and share their real life experiences and anecdotes with the audience. This created an extraordinarily intimate ambience in the seminar room. Butler never asked the guest to prepare a talk, as he "only wanted their genius". Among the guests of the seminar series have featured such towering figures of both British public life and media as Tony Benn, Baroness Shirley Williams, David Dimbleby, Alan Rusbridger, and the director-general of the BBC, Mark Thompson - and the names listed here are only some of the guests of the 85-year old Butler's last academic year. In the previous 52 years the seminar has played host to the former Prime Ministers, Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Edward Heath, John Major and Tony Blair As a young don in his twenties, Butler was twice summoned by Winston Churchill. Sir Winston, having forgotten why he had invited Butler, gave his whole 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' speech over dinner. On his second visit, Butler found himself explaining the arithmetic of the upcoming election by using apples and tangerines. Meeting Churchill, whom he had greatly admired, prepared Butler for interacting with all the famous guests of his seminars. "I could not be in awe of anyone's presence since", Butler said on Friday 4th of June. Butler is one of Britain's first and still most renowned psephologists (study and statistical analysis of elections). British television audiences have come to know him as the astute commentator of the BBC's election night programmes from the early 1950's until the year 1979. He is well known for launching the concept of swing in elections and for co-inventing the swingometer, first used on screen in 1959. Butler was involved in authoring or co-authoring every edition of the Nuffield studies on British elections from 1945 to 2005. David Butler's eternal interest in the elections is not only about quantifying. He said that he was sorry to see the "human nature, the analysis and the journalistic side" of politics and voting being drowned by sheer mathematics. Butler found Britain's last general election as the most exciting ever. About his own voting behaviour he said: "I did not vote in the 1950's, but since then I have consistently voted for all parties."

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