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The Power of NewsThe History of Reuters$
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Donald Read

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207689

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207689.001.0001

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Wartime Reconstruction, 1914–1918

Wartime Reconstruction, 1914–1918

(p.118) Five Wartime Reconstruction, 1914–1918
The Power of News

Donald Read

Oxford University Press

The Reuters news agency was always being recognised as a British institution representing the English point of view. Soon after the start of the war, rumours had circulated that Reuters included a large number of enemy citizens among its shareholders. The British Foreign Office went to the length of analysing the shareholder list, and satisfied itself that this was not the case. It was believed that Reuters was flourishing. In fact, it was not. Throughout 1914, its reputation and its finances were under increasing pressure and the shares of Reuters also went down. An advertising fiasco also damaged the good name of the agency, and war immediately added another problem when Reuters was told to stop using its codes. This made both the private telegram and remittance services uneconomic. However, these pressures were soon overcome. Furthermore, this chapter also discusses Reuters and its employees, the Reuter Service Bulletin and employees who served in the Allied forces, women editorial staff who appeared for the first time, and how the last year of the war resulted in serious complaints being voiced about the shortage of staff, heavy workload, and a serious reduction in the real value of pay owing to inflation.

Keywords:   outbreak of war, Reuters, chief editor, shareholders, negotiations, Reuter Service Bulletin, Allied forces

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