Commentary & Analysis

Reuters on data and computational journalism

The Water's Edge

By Maurice Tamman, Editor in Charge, Data & Computational Journalism

What is data and computational journalism? And why is Reuters doing it?

Let’s start by saying what it isn’t.

It’s not doing a Google search and copy and pasting a couple of numbers from a PDF; it’s not looking up an indictment online; it’s not opening a spreadsheet attached to an email, sorting a column and finding the largest or smallest value. Although those are all useful skills to have. At its core, data journalism is reporting, albeit a different kind from door-stopping politicians or cold-calling bankers. But it’s just as hardcore and relentless, and requires a unique combination of reporting instincts and technical skills. And that has created new capabilities that let us extend Reuters journalism in fresh and important ways.

In the last few months, Reuters has published three remarkable sets of stories that illustrate how we have become one of the global leaders in this journalism specialty. Our data journalism team members, working alongside other reporters, created compelling narratives that formed the flesh around a backbone of data reporting. In each example, they told stories around subjects that had never been told so precisely and with data that had largely been ignored.

Reuters Investigates: Water’s Edge


‘Incentivizing good health: The legal issues presented by health-contingent wellness plans,’ by R. Scott Oswald, Esq., and Tom Harrington, Esq.



For a one-minute audio intro to the commentary, click here.

WestlawNext users: Click here to read the full article on WestlawNext.

R. Scott Oswald

R. Scott Oswald

Tom Harrington

Tom Harrington

‘The need for deployable recorders and satellite tracking systems for airlines,’ by Robert A. Clifford, Esq.


For a one-minute audio intro to the commentary, click here.

Robert A. Clifford

Robert A. Clifford

WestlawNext users: Click here to read the full article on WestlawNext.

Mentors for a reason, for a season and for life

When I speak at leadership forums, one of the things that strikes me is how many questions there are about mentoring. It’s a major topic of conversation. In spite of the many books, blogs and tips on mentoring, many people are concerned about potential missteps and want to know more about the optimal approach. Frequently I’m asked about the differences between a mentor and a sponsor.

I’ve had a number of mentors over the course of my life. The first and perhaps most important one was my mother, though she wouldn’t have seen herself that way. I grew up in a small town, and what other people thought about what you said and did was very important. This wasn’t about shallow, superficial stuff, but about the things upon which reputations were built.

For example, my mother never left the house without being impeccably dressed, because that told the world she cared about herself and how others perceived her. She was a “good neighbor,” always available to offer a helping hand to others, and her word was her bond. I like to think she instilled those traits in me, and that they have become what I now appreciate as the foundation of my own personal brand.

Mentoring comes in many forms — creating many possibilities


Culture – Part eight

I’ve been publishing a series of posts here on our company blog to summarize core cultural themes from my perspective, all of which support our Thomson Reuters purpose and values. The eighth part of my culture series discusses the importance of passion. Read parts onetwothreefourfivesix & seven

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. –Henri-Frédéric Amiel

We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. –Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Passion is what drives us to get up in the morning every day. It gives us the strength to go above and beyond. It gets us fired up to take on any challenge and accomplish the impossible. Passion comes from a deep belief in the value of what you are doing paired with a deep belief that it is possible to accomplish, no matter how daunting the task may look at the outset. I believe that the number one motivator people have is a desire to “win.” People want to accomplish great things, and they want to be on a winning team. Winning can come in many different forms (visibly delighting customers, winning awards, taking market share, doing good for other people, making the world a better place, making money, doing something considered “impossible” by most people, driving shareholder value, etc.), but that feeling of achievement runs deep in our human nature and passion is both a motivator and the fuel for achievement.

Follow your passion


GM backseat driver

The carmaker’s former restructuring guru and his hedge fund backers want a board seat and an $8 bln buyback.

Rob Cox and Reynolds Holding say the activists deserve a cautious welcome: (more…)

Seven career lessons learned the hard way

Seven career lessons learned the hard way

Today’s job market is fiercely competitive. With the advent of new technologies and growing global competition, companies need to be nimble—and ready to fearlessly embrace change. Everyone from college grads entering the market for the first time to seasoned executives must have a laser-like focus on their careers. I’ve experienced my share of bumps, obstacles, twists, and turns on the path to what I consider a successful career. They may have occasionally slowed me down, but they never stopped me.

These seven bits of advice can spare you some of that. I can vouch for them because I learned them the hard way—through personal experience: (more…)

How every business can benefit by thinking like a start-up

Designers work at computer stations at TechShop in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco

Philip Brittan is the Chief Technology Officer and Global Head of Platform for our Financial and Risk business. For more of Philip’s insights, read his seven-part series on high performance culture.

I had the great pleasure of running three small start-ups in the first half of my career, and have spent the second half of my career (so far) in large corporations. Many people say I have run my career backwards, that the typical pattern is to learn your chops at the big companies before striking out on your own. Well, I have recently heard that the trend is moving my direction and that, increasingly, students right out of school are starting up new businesses, and later moving to larger firms. I actually think this makes sense, since you learn skills and attitudes in a start-up that are invaluable to you in a larger firm. Start-ups are often envied for their sense of freedom and possibility, their focus on innovation, tight esprit de corps, and hip cultures.

So what is it about a start-up that leads to those admirable characteristics? I believe it is fundamentally two things: newness and smallness. A start-up by definition came into being recently, its newness means it doesn’t have expectations of what it already is, where it came from, and so a sense of endless possibility is natural in a start-up. (more…)

Disharmony in Montreal Convention injury cases: When does a departure from airline policy or industry standards give rise to an ’accident’?

By Stephen F. Rosenthal and Nathalie B. Levy, Podhurst Orseck PA

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: Stephen F. Rosenthal and Nathalie B. Levy of Podhurst Orseck PA discuss the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to set a standard for in-flight-accident cases governed by the Montreal Convention, given the recent circuit court split in interpreting the treaty.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Material design workshop at Google

Google signage seen at the company's offices in New York

By Natalia Paraeva, Lead Mobile User Experience, Thomson Reuters

Last November, I had the great privilege of attending the material design workshop run by Google at their New York office. It ran over two days and involved great conversations, an opportunity to talk to a dozen of Google designers and get all questions answered. If you’ve never heard of material design, you might find this video interesting.

Google themselves put it this way: “Material design is a cross-platform design system grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic.” In that video, design leads across Google discuss the key principles of material design, and set the stage for the other sessions that focused on interaction, motion and visual design.

The other companies that attended the workshop were: (more…)