KINGSTON, R.I., Sept. 14, 2017— Not long ago, President Donald J. Trump called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.” With that level of criticism, covering the new administration can pose challenges for reporters.
Stephen J. Adler, president and editor-in-chief of Reuters, will discuss the importance of intrepid and unbiased journalism in today’s political climate in a conversation with Journalism Chair John Pantalone at the University of Rhode Island for the annual Christiane Amanpour Lecture.
Free and open to the public, the discussion will be held Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Agnes B. Doody Auditorium in Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road on the Kingston campus.
“We are excited to have Steve Adler come to campus,” said Pantalone. “He is one of our most important leaders in the field and has set a tone and standard for news reporting that makes us better informed and capable of making good decisions. Our students will benefit greatly from his advice, and we can all use a dose of sober reflection about the state of journalism and its importance to the nation.”
At Reuters, Adler is responsible for the team that produces the news—text, photographs, video and commentary—that reaches more than 1 billion users a day.
Adler joined Reuters in 2010 as senior vice president and editorial director of the company’s professional division. He was named editor-in-chief in 2011. Under his leadership, Reuters has received many top journalism awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
In a recent memo, Adler wrote about how best to cover President Trump and his administration, considering Trump’s comment about journalists and an aide’s remark that the media is the “opposition party.”
“It’s hardly surprising that the air is thick with questions and theories about how to cover the new administration,” wrote Adler.
His answer: Coverage must follow the same rules that govern Reuters work anywhere, namely be intrepid, impartial, dogged and resourceful. Also, give up on hand-outs and worry less about official access, focusing more on cultivating sources and reporting in the community to learn about how people live and what they think.
“Never be intimidated but don’t pick unnecessary fights or make the story about us,” Adler wrote. “We may care about the inside baseball but the public generally doesn’t and might not be on our side even if it did.”
Adler’s discussion is sponsored by the Harrington School of Communication and Media and its Department of Journalism.
The Christiane Amanpour Lecture is named for the 1983 URI alumna and 1995 honorary degree recipient who is a chief international affairs correspondent for CNN and host of the global affairs program, “Amanpour.” Amanpour endows the annual speaker series, which brings well-respected journalists to campus.