Thomson Reuters operates in a decent sized facility in São Paulo. In fact, it’s bursting at the seams. Two or three reporters operate in what many would consider one desk space, due in part of the fact that they’re trying to expand their local reporters as well as their small workspace. Reuters is working on developing video content for some stories for the web, and the TV room is located in the corner, with the camera placed on top of a footstool.
Hey, whatever works, right?
Reuters is different than Wall Street or Bloomberg, however. Even though it is based in New York City now as opposed to its former London HQ, Reuters is still very much an unAmericanized company. The other key difference, more specifically in Brazil, is where its niche lies. While Bloomberg corners the financial markets like the BOLSA, and Wall Street more exposé pieces, Reuters locks its feet in the political economy corner. Basically, the reporters are focusing on how legislative policy affects the businesses in Brazil and elsewhere, in large part because of their European roots, Reuters is able to gain a different perspective compared to American companies.
Brian Winter, the chief correspondent for Reuters in Brazil, isn’t the typical foreign correspondent. While Reuters has had a foreign correspondent policy in the past of moving reporters around every 2-3 years to prevent them from becoming nationalized, recently it starting to change its outlook, said Winter. Brian has been in Brazil for longer, and sees himself remaining there for the foreseeable future.
“Journalism itself doesn’t have much value anymore,” said Winter. ” What does have value is specialist knowledge.”
For Winter, and most journalists for that matter, there is the realization that general news isn’t holding as much weight as before. For Winter, the key to success for journalists is specialization. Brazil and business are key specializations.
“Just being a journalist isn’t enough, I don’t think there’s money in that,” he said.
He sees specialization as the key to being successful, and for him, Brazil is an relatively untapped market for the new journalist.
“The gap between information given of Brazil and the information need is big” for American journalism, he said. There is a small group of people who are truly capable of writing about this booming country, and with the economy of Brazil becoming a bigger idea in everyone’s mind the opportunity to become a Brazil expert could potentially be lucrative.
Not many American journalists know the Portuguese language, let alone the layout of the Brazilian government, so Winter has pretty solid job security. He’s traveled throughout Latin America, but notes that Brazil is a “great place to be a journalist,” because of the people themselves.
“The people are talkative, and terrible at keeping secrets. There is also still a respect for journalists, unlike in the United States.”
The American spectrum is facing a massive test in reliability and confidence from the consumer. The polarization of politics ties into economics, and also journalism. In Brazil, Winter notes, “it’s amazing how civilized politics are here.”
“You don’t see the bizarrely polarized like you see in the States, it’s different here,” he said.
That creates honest conversation, about politics, sports, fiscal policies and anything else that could be covered on the news. While people certainly disagree on some topics, a lot of people understand the big picture on what Brazil needs to do going forward.