Reuters editor tells staff: ‘Don’t vent publicly’ about Trump

Steve Adler, editor in chief of Reuters, told his reporting staff in an open letter Wednesday that it should avoid airing out any grievances it may have when it comes to covering the Trump administration, even as the new White House has signaled it will take an unconventional approach to the news media.

In the letter, posted online Tuesday afternoon, Adler said staff should continue doing their jobs as they have always done, even in countries where press freedoms are more limited.

“I am perpetually proud of our work in places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists,” he wrote. “We respond to all of these by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly, by doggedly gathering hard-to-get information – and by remaining impartial.”

Adler then offered some dos-and-don’ts for staff, including instruction not to complain publicly about potential problems in reporting on the administration.

“Don’t vent publicly about what might be understandable day-to-day frustration,” he said. “In countless other countries, we keep our own counsel so we can do our reporting without being suspected of personal animus. We need to do that in the U.S., too.”

President Trump, as he did during his campaign, has maintained a hardline stance against the national media, regularly calling out specific outlets and journalists for what he has dubbed “fake news,” or critical coverage that he says is unfair.

Reporters frequently discuss their news coverage on social media, Twitter in particular, and that often includes commentary on lack of access to the Trump administration or what they believe are not forthright answers from White House officials.

CNN’s Jake Tapper has described it in the past as a “pile-on” by reporters.

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