Monday, April 16, 2007

Earth to Reuters: What Took you so Long?

Reuters Special Correspondent Bernd Debusmann seems to think he had a hot new breaking story; and, apparently, the Reuters editors agreed with this. He certainly wrote a good lead:

The billionaire investor George Soros has added his voice to a heated but little-noticed debate over the role of Israel's powerful lobby in shaping Washington policy in a way critics say hurts U.S. national interests and stifles debate.

However, it is the second paragraph that is problematic:

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros takes issue with "the pervasive influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)" in Washington and says the Bush administration's close ties with Israel are obstacles to a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The problem is that this article is not in the current issue. While it is true that the issue with the article is dated April 12, the current issue is dated April 26! The Soros article has been on the New York Review Web site for (probably) about half a month; and the Web site usually precedes the print issue by a matter of days.

So just how to these "Special Correspondents" do their job; and, what may be more relevant, where do they do it. If Mr. Debusmann is filing copy for United States news from Bangalore, like his colleague Sweta Singh, then it may very well be that he only saw the Soros article in print over this past weekend. Why he was unaware that the content had been on the Web for some time is between him and his managers at Reuters. It is all very well and good to assume that the Internet makes it possible to track United States news from any location in the world, but I would think that Reuters is still obliged to maintain their reputation for tracking it in a timely manner!

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