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How News Agencies Produce News

Barbara Czarniawska

Have you ever wondered how organizations decide which news is important? This insightful book portrays in detail everyday work in three news agencies: Swedish TT, Italian ANSA and the worldwide Reuters. This unique study is about organizing rather than journalism, revealing two accelerating phenomena: cybernization (machines play a more and more central role in news production) and cyborgization (people rely more and more on machines). Barbara Czarniawska reveals that technological developments lead to many unexpected consequences and complications.
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Chapter 5: Reuters, or Tooling of the News

Barbara Czarniawska


1 Collective cognition and the common sense of news producers provide a wider frame that organizes the production of news and steers the management of information overflow. In this chapter, I take a closer look at the passage of the product through various phases of production. Such perspective reveals, among other things, the importance of one news producer: the software. The active role of hardware and software does not diminish the intensity of human interaction, however; it increases it by mediation. THE MATRIX In this chapter, the term “matrix” is used both literally and figuratively. Although the figurative meaning will enter the text later, I would like to note here that Thomson Reuters is, in fact, a matrix organization. Table 5.12 is deceptively simple, as it covers hundreds of units (here is the first hint of the metaphorical use of the term matrix, as it is almost impossible to reconstruct an organization chart at Reuters, in contrast to other agencies that have it on their Web pages). Media, in turn, comprises two parts: News Agency and Professional Publishing. My focus is on News Agency, which, I have been told, may be the smallest part of Thomson Reuters, but is certainly the best known: Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are...

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