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The rise of social media has brought journalists some powerful new storytelling and information-gathering tools. However, with these new opportunities have come some new risks. At Reuters, we have just published some social media guidelines that lay out some basic principles and offer recommendations that should prove useful as journalists navigate what can sometimes seem a chaotic landscape. In building the new guidelines, we’ve embraced some basic principles: We encourage the use of social media approaches in Reuters journalism. Accuracy, freedom from bias and independence are fundamental to our reputation. These values and the Trust Principles apply to journalism produced using social media just as they have to all other journalism produced by Reuters. A distinguishing feature of Reuters is the trust invested in its journalists to rise above personal biases in their work and to apply common sense in dealing with the challenges offered by social media. This last point is particularly important to me. I’ve written in the past about how we depend on our journalists to rise above their biases to cover stories in an independent way, whether they’re in Gaza or Washington–or anywhere else. As comments have shown–and will no doubt show again–there are those who will never believe this is possible. And there are those who would actually prefer to read, listen to or view only those information sources that confirm their own worldview. Some news organizations have been more proscriptive with their rules or guidelines for journalists using social media–and it’s tempting to provide the rule-hungry with specific latitudes and longitudes of what’s acceptable. But I think that approach sells short the ability of journalists to use their brains and to see–and report on–a world that’s changing every day. That’s why I think of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism as a living document, one that helps us navigate that changing world with an eye on the future while being grounded in the ethical behavior and high standards that have brought us so far.
* SEC said subcontractor not properly disclosed or vetted* Company says SEC employees have no need to worryBy Sarah N. LynchOct 17 (Reuters) - A company hired by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to operate the agency’s stocks ethics program is denying allegations that it breached a provision in its contract by failing to disclose its use of a subcontractor.The statement by Financial Tracking Technologies, issued early Saturday morning, came after Reuters reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission was offering free credit monitoring to employees over concern that FTT had shared staffers’ personal brokerage account information without the SEC’s permission.FTT was hired by the SEC in 2009 to operate the ethics program, which tracks employee trades to help prevent potential conflicts of interest, such as insider-trading.The SEC sent a letter to employees on Oct. 7 saying FTT had violated a term in its contract by giving the stock account data to a subcontractor and consultant without telling the SEC.Because those firms had not been vetted, the SEC said employees’ data may have been compromised. While no data was misused, the SEC urged employees to be cautious and consider placing a fraud alert on their accounts.But in its statement, FTT Managing Principal Tony Turner denied the SEC’s assertions, saying the subcontractor’s access to the data “was authorized and was subject to our supervision and monitoring at all times.”He said his company’s use of a third-party vendor was also disclosed to the SEC in various documents, including the formal bound proposal and subsequent business continuity plans.”No data left our system and, as the SEC indicated, there is no evidence of any misuse of any data,” Turner added.Turner also expressed disappointment that a former FTT consultant had gone to the SEC with concerns about the data security, saying it is “unfortunate” this person “created an incident where none ever existed.”SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on FTT’s statement.
* Eyes on China dataBy Chikako MogiTOKYO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on Thursday on growing hopes that Europe is taking concrete steps to contain the region’s debt woes and head off a systemic banking crisis.Strengthening investor confidence in the euro zone underpinned the single currency, while receding concerns about the banks’ problems threatening the wider financial system sharply tightened Asian credit markets.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6 percent, following a 1.4 percent gain in the MSCI world equity index , which posted an increase for the sixth session in a row on Wednesday.The Nikkei average opened up 1.07 percent on Thursday. On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 stock index compiled a gain of 9.8 percent over the past seven sessions, its steepest advance since mid-March 2009.The euro stayed bid early in Asia on Thursday, having jumped to a near one-month high on the dollar as Europe took a step closer to shoring up its financial rescue fund.Lawmakers in Slovakia struck a deal on Wednesday to ratify a plan to bolster the euro zone’s rescue fund by Friday, effectively ending a crisis that had threatened the currency’s main safety net. Slovakia is the only country in the 17-nation bloc left to approve the revamp of the fund.Adding to the sense of urgency, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said Europe needed to take decisive action on Greece and outlined a broad plan to contain the debt crisis.As European officials step up efforts to provide a more specific roadmap to resolve its debt woes and recover investor confidence, the European Union is expected to announce a bank recapitalization plan designed to cushion the impact any default by Greece could have on the region’s banks.Germany and France, the leading powers in the bloc, have promised to propose a comprehensive strategy to fight the debt crisis at an EU summit on Oct. 23.In credit markets, which had been feeling the strain of waning confidence in the financial system in recent months, the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment grade index narrowed by about 15 points.Oil prices fell on Thursday, with Brent crude futures down 0.1 percent at $111.21 a barrel after rising the day before for an 11.6 percent gain over six sessions. U.S. crude futures fell 0.85 percent to $84.84 a barrel, after snapping a five-session streak of higher closes on Wednesday.Asian markets are focused on China’s trade data due at around 0100 GMT to gauge the strength of the world’s second-largest economy.A stronger-than-expected reading would boost investor confidence about a soft landing for the Chinese economy, while a weaker outcome would add to worries about global growth.