Thomson Reuters, originally Reuters, Canadian information services company. Founded as the Reuters news agency in Great Britain in 1851, it became one of the leading newswire services in the world. Its headquarters are in Toronto.
The agency was established by Paul Julius Reuter, a former bank clerk who in 1847 became a partner in Reuter and Stargardt, a Berlin book-publishing firm. The firm distributed radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions of 1848, which may have brought official scrutiny on Reuter. Later that year he left for Paris, where he worked for a short time as a translator. In 1849 he initiated a prototype news service, using electric telegraphy as well as carrier pigeons in his network. Upon moving to England, he launched Reuter’s Telegram Company two years later. The company was concerned with commercial news service at its inception and had headquarters in London serving banks, brokerage houses, and leading business firms.
The agency expanded steadily, and in 1858 its first newspaper client, the London Morning Advertiser, subscribed. Newspapers bulked ever larger in the Reuters clientele thereafter. The value of Reuters to newspapers lay not only in the financial news it provided but in its ability to be the first to report on stories of international importance, as in 1865 when the service broke the news of the assassination of U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln hours before its competitors.
Reuter saw the possibilities of the telegraph for news reporting and built up an organization that maintained correspondents throughout the world. The Press Association (PA), an organization representing the provincial press of Great Britain, acquired a majority interest in Reuters in 1925 and full ownership some years later. In 1941 the PA sold half of Reuters to the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association, representing Britain’s national press, and in 1947 co-ownership was extended to associations representing the daily newspapers of Australia and New Zealand. Reuters had become one of the world’s major news agencies, supplying both text and images to newspapers, other news agencies, and radio and television broadcasters. Directly or through national news agencies, it provided service to most countries, reaching virtually all the world’s leading newspapers and many thousands of smaller ones.
In the 1960s Reuters became one of the first news agencies to use computers to transmit financial data overseas, and in 1973 it began making computer-terminal displays of foreign-exchange rates available to clients. The agency subsequently afforded the capacity to make electronic transactions over its network (1981) and went on to develop a wide array of electronic trading and brokerage services. In 1984 Reuters became a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and also on the NASDAQ. In 2008 it merged with Canadian electronic publisher Thomson Corporation to form Thomson Reuters, though in its reporting capacity the company was still commonly referred to as Reuters. The unified company withdrew from both the LSE and the NASDAQ in 2009 and became listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to maintaining its traditional news-agency business, Thomson Reuters is now a major provider of financial information, both historical and current, to businesses, governments, and individuals worldwide.
Reuters News Agency is an international organization owned and managed by Thomas Reuters. The agency was an independent company, Reuters Group until Thomas Corporation bought it in 2008. Reuters was established by Paul Julius Reuter in 1851 and has its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom.
Acquisition By Thomas Corporation
Thomas Corporation bought Reuters Group in April 2008 to form Thomas Reuters. After the merger, Thomas Group was delisted from the London Stock Exchange while Thomas Corporation left NASDAQ, and the new company was listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchange. Thomas Reuters has its headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Historically, no single entity could own over 15% of Reuters to prevent the company from falling into the hands of individuals or groups with specific objectives. The restriction was waived during the purchase, throwing the media house into a panic, as Reuters journalists raised concerns over marginalization by the more superior financial data provision service of the newly established company. Before the purchase, Reuters had been experiencing a poor financial run, and the company managers waved the principle to save it from total collapse. As of October 2019, James Smith served as the chief executive of Thomas Reuters while David Thompson was the chairman.
Reuters employs over 2,400 journalists and approximately 600 photojournalists from across the world. All employees subscribe to the company’s handbook of journalism to maintain the integrity and reputation of Reuters. The agency provides in-depth reporting of issues across the world, and its journalists venture into dangerous territory to report on first-hand incidents. But the reputation has come at a cost; reporter Kurt Schork was killed in the line of duty in West Africa in May 2000 while Mazen Dana and Taras Protsyuk died in separate incidents in Iraq in 2003. In 2018, two journalists were convicted while reporting atrocities against the Rohingya in Myanmar. The two spent 511 days in prison before they were freed.
Reuters maintains the use of objective language and avoids controversial words that maybe derogative. In a bid to take a neutral stand, Reuters journalists are barred from the term “terrorist” or “terrorism” while referring to specific individuals or acts. After the September 11 attacks, the news agency was criticized for failing to label the perpetrators as terrorists. The agency defended its policy by suggesting that it sought to maintain a level playing field since one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.