:"This article is primarily about Reuters prior to its 2008 merger with Thomson. For it's new parent company, see Thomson Reuters."

Infobox Company
company_name = Reuters Group Limited
company_type = Subsidiary
foundation = October 1851
location = flagicon|GBR London, England, UK
key_people =
industry = News agency, financial
products =
revenue = £2,605m (2007)
operating_income = £292m (2007)
net_income = £213m (2007)
num_employees =
parent = Thomson Reuters
subsid =
homepage = []
footnotes =

Reuters Group Limited (pronEng|ˈrɔɪtərz) is a British based news service and former financial market data provider that provides reports from around the world to newspapers and broadcasters. News reporting once accounted for less than 10% of the company's income. [ [ Reuters - About Reuters - Investor Relations ] ] Its main focus was on supplying the financial markets with information and trading products. These included market data, such as share prices and currency rates, research and analytics, as well as trading systems that allowed dealers to buy and sell such things as currencies and shares on a computer screen instead of by telephone or on a trading floor like that of the New York Stock Exchange. Among other services, the most notable was analysis of 40,000 companies, debt instruments, and 3 million economic series. Competitors included Bloomberg L.P. and Dow Jones Newswires.


Paul Julius Reuter noticed that, with the electric telegraph, news no longer required days or weeks to travel long distances. In 1850, the 34-year-old Reuter was based in Aachen, Germany, close to the Netherlands' and Belgian borders, and he began using the newly opened Berlin–Aachen telegraph line to send news to Berlin. However, there was a convert|76|mi|km|sing=on gap in the line between Aachen and Brussels, the Belgian capital city and the financial center of that country. Reuter saw there was an opportunity to speed up news service between Brussels and Berlin by using homing pigeons to bridge that gap in the telegraph lines.

In 1851, Reuter moved to London, England. After failures in 1847 and 1850, attempts by the Submarine Telegraph Company to lay an undersea telegraph cable from Dover to Calais appeared to promise success. Reuter set up his "Submarine Telegraph" office in October 1851 just before the opening of that undersea cable in November, and he negotiated a contract with the London Stock Exchange to provide stock prices from the continental exchanges in return for access to the London prices, which he then supplied to stockbrokers in Paris, France. In 1865, Reuter's private firm was restructured, and it became a limited company (a corporation) called the Reuter's Telegram Company. Reuter had been naturalized as a British citizen in 1857.

Reuter's agency built a reputation in Europe for being the first to report news scoops from abroad, like the news of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. After many decades of progress, almost every major news outlet in the world subscribes to the Reuters company's services. It operates in at least 200 cities in 94 countries, supplying news text in about 20 languages.

Reuters was financed as a public company in 1984 on the London Stock Exchange and on the NASDAQ in the USA. However, there were concerns that the company's tradition for objective reporting might be jeopardised if control of the company later fell into the hands of a single shareholder. To counter that possibility, the constitution of the company at the time of the stock offering included a rule that no individual was allowed to own more than 15% of the company. If this limit is exceeded, the directors can order the shareholder to reduce the holding to less than 15%. That rule was applied in the late 1980s when Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which already held around 15% of Reuters, bought an Australian news company that also owned stock in Reuters. The acquisition meant that Murdoch then held more than 15%, and then he was compelled to reduce the holding to less than 15% to stay in line with the rules.

At the same time, as a further measure to protect the independence of Reuters news reporting, The Reuters Founders Share Company was set up. This is a company whose sole task is to protect the integrity of the company's news output. It holds one "Founders Share" which can outvote all other shares in the event that an attempt is made to alter any of the rules relating to the Reuters Trust Principles. These principles set out the company's aim to preserve its independence, integrity, and freedom from bias in its news reporting. [cite web |url= |title=Our company Independence & Trust Principles | |accessdate=2008-03-03]

Reuters began to grow rapidly in the 1980s, widening the range of its business products and expanding its global reporting network for media, financial and economic services. Recent key product launches include Equities 2000 (1987), Dealing 2000-2 (1992), Business Briefing (1994), Reuters Television for the financial markets (1994), 3000 Series (1996) and the Reuters 3000 Xtra service (1999).

In the mid-1990s, the Reuters company engaged in a brief foray in the radio sector - with London Radio's two radio stations, London News 97.3 FM and London News Talk 1152 AM. A Reuters Radio News service was also set up to compete with the Independent Radio News.

In 1995, Reuters established its "Greenhouse Fund" to take minority investments in a range of start-up technology companies, initially in the USA, only.

On 15 May 2007, The Thomson Corporation reached an agreement with Reuters to combine the two companies, in a deal valued at US $17.2 billion. Thomsons now controls about 53% of the new company, named Thomson Reuters. The new chief of Thomson Reuters is Tom Glocer, the former head of Reuters. The earlier rule of 15% ownership (see above) was waived; the reason as given by Pehr Gyllenhammar, the chairman of the Reuters Founders Share Company, was "The future of Reuters takes precedence over the principles. If Reuters were not strong enough to continue on its own, the principles would have no meaning." [ Many others however dismiss this as as a convenience to get Company Management off the hook of poor performance.. [,25197,23551065-7582,00.html Aussie guardian for agency's ethics | The Australian] ] citing the recent bad financial performance of the company. On 26 March 2008, shareholders of both organisations agreed the merger. The acquisition was closed on 17 April 2008.

In October 2007, Reuters Market Light, a division of Reuters, launched a mobile phone service for Indian farmers to provide local and customized commodity pricing information, news, and weather updates.


Reuters has a team of several thousand journalists who over the years have covered major news events, sometimes at the cost of their lives. In May 2000, Kurt Schork, an American reporter, was killed in an ambush while on assignment in Sierra Leone. In April and August 2003, news cameramen Taras Protsyuk and Mazen Dana were both killed in two separate incidents by US troops in Iraq. During 2004, cameramen Adlan Khasanov in Chechnya and Dhia Najim in Iraq were also killed. In April 2008 Fadel Shana, a cameraman, was killed in the Gaza Strip after he was hit by an Israeli tank using controversial weapons known as flechettes. [;_ylt=Av4RzSGXhz_MkmBtVRtRgg8UewgF]

The first Reuters journalist to be taken hostage in action was Anthony Grey. Detained while covering the Cultural Revolution in Peking in the late 1960s, said to be in response to the jailing of several Chinese terrorists by the colonial British Government in Hong Kong. He was considered to be the first political hostage of the modern age and was eventually released after almost 2 years solitary confinement. Awarded an OBE by the British Government in recognition of this, he went on to become a best selling author.

In recent years Reuters news service was subject to severe budget cuts.fact|date=June 2008


=Investments= Notable investments include:
*Action Images - On September 19, 2005, Reuters purchased North London-based Action Images, a deep collection of sports photography that includes more than 8 million images of which 1.7 million are online.
*Application Networks - In June 2006, Reuters acquired [ Application Networks, Inc.] , a provider of trade and risk management software based on JRisk, and agrees to acquire Feri Fund Market Information Ltd (FERI FMI) and its fund database subsidiary, FI Datenservice GmbH (FID) [cite news |url= |title=Reuters to Acquire European Fund Research Specialist |date=2007-06-29 |]
*AVT Technologies - In December 2002, Reuters announced that it would acquire AVT Technologies, a specialist in foreign exchange transaction technology. Concurrent with the deal, Reuters established an Automated Dealing Technologies business unit, headed up by Mark Redwood, CEO of AVT Technologies.
*Bridge Information Systems - On September 28, 2001, it completed the largest acquisition in its history acquired certain businesses and assets of Bridge Information Systems Inc. Also during the year, the Group acquired 100% of Diagram fip SA and 92% of ProTrader Group LP. In October 2001, the Group disposed of its majority stake in VentureOne Corp.
*Clearforest - In June 2007, Reuters acquired Clearforest, a provider of Text Analytics solutions, whose tagging platform and analytical products allow clients to derive business information from textual content.
*EcoWin - In November 2005, Reuters acquired EcoWin, a Gothenburg (Sweden) based provider of global fianancial, equities, and economic data.
*Factiva - In May 1999, Reuters entered a joint venture with long-time rival, Dow Jones & Company, to form Factiva [cite web |url= |title=Factiva, a Dow Jones & Reuters Company |] , a business news and information provider. In December 2006, Reuters sold its 50% share in Factiva to Dow Jones, who is now the sole owner. [cite news |url= |title=Dow Jones Completes Acquisition of Full-Ownership of Factiva |date=2006-12-15 |]
*Instinet - In May 2001, Instinet completed an IPO on NASDAQ; Reuters sold its majority stake in Instinet to The Nasdaq Stock Market in 2005.
* Inc. - In March 2003, Reuters acquired, Inc., a provider of global financial information.
*TIBCO Software - In July 1999,TIBCO Software completed an IPO on NASDAQ; Reuters retains a substantial proportion of the shares. Reuters announced in early 2000 a range of major initiatives designed to accelerate its use of internet technologies, open new markets and migrate its core business to an internet-based model.

Main corporate locations

From 1939, the Reuters corporate headquarters was in London's famous Fleet Street in a building designed for it by Sir Edwin Lutyens, but in 2005 Reuters moved to a larger building in the more modern Canary Wharf. The Reuters Building at 30 South Colonnade is near the One Canada Square tower, Jubilee Park and Canary Wharf tube station. The open space below the Reuters building has since been renamed Reuters Plaza.

The company's North American headquarters is the Reuters Building at 3 Times Square, New York. It is on 7th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets, and was constructed from 1998 to 2001. [ [ The Reuters Building ] ]


Reuters has a strict policy towards upholding objectiveness and this policy has caused many to comment on the possible insensitivity of its reports covering major global events including: September 11, 2001, attacks. Reuters global news editor Stephen Jukes wrote, "We all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist." "The Washington Post" media critic Howard Kurtz responded, "After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and again after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Reuters allowed the events to be described as acts of terror. But as of last week, even that terminology is banned." [] Reuters later apologized for this characterization of their policy [ [ Reuters Terrorist Explanation ] ] , although they maintained the policy itself.

The September 20, 2004, edition of the "The New York Times" reported that the Reuters Global Managing Editor, David A. Schlesinger, objected to Canadian newspapers' editing of Reuters articles through inclusion of the word "terrorist," stating that "my goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity." [ [ Reuters Asks a Chain to Remove Its Bylines - New York Times ] ]

Due to this policy, Reuters was careful to only use the word "terrorist" in quotes, whether quotations or scare quotes. However, when reporting the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the service reported, "Police said they suspected terrorists were behind the bombings." The contrast between this and their aforementioned policy was criticized [ [ The Wall Street Journal Online - Best of the Web Today ] ] , although by that point Reuters policy was to use such words "when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech," and this headline is an example of the latter. [ [ Reuters - About Reuters - About us ] ] The news organization has subsequently used the term "terrorist" without quotations when the article clarifies that it is someone else's words.

Photographs controversies

Reuters was accused of bias against Israel in its coverage of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, in which the company used two doctored photos by a Lebanese freelance photographer Adnan Hajj. [ [,7340,L-3286966,00.html Reuters admits altering Beirut photo] , Ynetnews, Retrieved on june 3, 2008] On August 7, 2006, Reuters announced [ [ Reuters Says Freelancer Manipulated Lebanon Photos ] ] it severed all ties with Hajj and said his photographs would be removed from its database.

ee also

*A. M. Best
*Bloomberg L.P.
*Dominion Bond Rating Service
*Fitch Ratings
*Interbank market
*Morningstar, Inc.
*Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations
*Standard & Poor's


* Read, Donald (1992). "The Power of News. The History of Reuters 1849-1989". Oxford, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821776-5

Further reading

* [ Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto on Reuters' use of the word 'terrorist']
* [ Norman Solomon, executive director for the Institute for Public Accuracy and a U.S. columnist, on Reuters' use of 'terrorist']
* [ Criticism of references to the Holocaust]
* [ Reuters photo caption of New York City's World Trade Center site after September 11 causes controversy]
* [ Reuters Investigation Leads To Dismissal Of Editor]
* [,7340,L-3287774,00.html Reuters admits to more image manipulation]

External links

*Reuters consumer websites
** [ Reuters US]
** [ Reuters UK]
* [ Reuters] Official website
* [ Bearing Witness] Five Years of Reporting War in Iraq
* [ Reuters - The State of the World] News Imagery of the 21st century
* [ Reuters Group PLC Company Profile at Yahoo! Inc.]
* [ Reuters Group PLC Company Profile at Google Inc.]
* [ Reuters Foundation] Philanthropic foundation
* [ Reuters finance] Financial newsTicker

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