Reuters Middle East Manager Ordered Out of Bahrain
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) _ Bahrain has ordered Brian Lawley, Middle East manager of the Reuters news agency, to leave the country ″because the system of reporting was wrong,″ the Information Ministry said Monday.
It said in a statement published in the English-language newspaper Gulf Daily News: ″We noticed they (Reuters) had a stringer working who was on the payroll of another government and reports were released without the identification of that country.″
Reuters said the government objected to its reporting of a territorial dispute between Bahrain and Qatar and that Lawley, 45, had been ordered to leave by Sept. 12. The agency’s Middle East headquarters is in Bahrain and Lawley has been the manager since September 1979, responsible for 19 countries.
Michael Reupke, editor-in-chier of Reuters, said in London that the agency had satisfied itself that its reporting of the dispute was factual.
Reuters said Reupke met with Taliq al-Moayyed, Bahrain’s information minister, last week in an attempt to obtain a reversal of the decision. It said the government objected to the agency’s use of information from a Qatar journalist because he worked for government-run Qatar radio.
Moayyed was on an official visit to Jordan and was not available for comment Monday.
One Reuters report from Bahrain used information from the Qatar journalist without mentioning that part of the report came from Qatar. Reupke said that did not affect the report’s accuracy.
He said Reuters occasionally draws on the work of qualified journalists who work for national broadcasting organizations or national news agencies in countries where it does not have its own correspondents.