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Internet a basic human right - Reuters CEO

Egypt tried to stop broadcasts during unrest

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A leading business executive has described access to the internet as a basic human right.

Tom Glocer, chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters, was speaking at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit yesterday.

"I believe internet access is a basic human right," Glocer said. "Different governments have tried to stop the free flow of information, but eventually those tactics will fail in a dramatic and revolutionary way."


On media in the Middle East, Glocer said that during the revolution in Egypt, the authorities tried to stop Reuters from broadcasting, but the company still managed to put out 117 hours by being inventive in the way they produced and distributed content.

Glocer said: "We don't try to legislate for what others should do, but when we publish news we do it as straight as humanly possible. But humans are biased so we rigorously edit to filter that out."

New organisations

Speaking on the role of global news organisations, Glocer said that there's nothing wrong with campaigning media, as long as people have a choice of sources. "I have a problem when I see opinions creeping deeply into what purports to be news," he said.

He said that while technology has allowed us to look over our own boarders and realise that "we are not so different from each other", he hopes there will still be cultural differences reflected in regional media.