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.