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Friday, November 24, 2006

Wires for a Wired World

Chaitanya Kalbag, Editor, Reuters Asia-Pacific, Singapore ur, Germany

Far from being suspicious of the Internet, Reuters has embraced it – and the Internet has returned the favour: The news service says Internet subscribers account for more than 80 percent of its revenue on the media side. Articles from Reuters attract 350 million page views and 50 million unique users during a typical month, says Chaitanya Kalbag, editor of Reuters Asia-Pacific.That translates into a reach spreading across 15 percent of the Internet universe, Kalbag said during a roundtable at the World Editors Forum. Much of that usage comes via portals such as Yahoo, which uses an automated system to pump out Reuters’ text and photos.As time goes on, the online offerings from Reuters will become more targeted, Kalbag said, with customised news services and Olympic-specific Internet packages on the way. Reuters is also investing close to 30 million British pounds in a new protocol for wire distribution called NewsML, he said.Even though Reuters is thoroughly part of the online world, Kalbag said the news service still holds to the values it prized at its founding 150 years ago: speed, accuracy and freedom from bias.“One of the big challenges is to go to the people with news of the highest quality,” he said.

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