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This article is about the Reuters news agency. For the current parent company, see Thomson Reuters. For the former parent company prior to its 2008 acquisition by The Thomson Corporation, see Reuters Group.
Industry News agency
Founded October 1851
Headquarters Canary Wharf, London, England, United Kingdom[1]
Owner Thomson Reuters

Reuters /ˈrɔɪtərz/ is an international news agency headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, England, United Kingdom and is a division of Thomson Reuters.

Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division. Reuters transmits news in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Urdu, and Chinese.


The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange. Paul Reuter worked at a book-publishing firm in Berlin and was involved in distributing radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions in 1848. These publications brought much attention to Reuter. He later developed a prototype news service in 1849 in which he used electric telegraphy and carrier pigeons. The Reuter's Telegram Company was later launched. The company initially covered commercial news, serving banks, brokerage houses, and business firms.[2]

The first newspaper client to subscribe was the London Morning Advertiser in 1858.[3] Newspaper subscriptions subsequently expanded.

Over the years Reuter's agency has built a reputation in Europe and the rest of the world as the first to report news scoops from abroad. Reuters was the first to report Abraham Lincoln's assassination, for instance. Almost every major news outlet in the world currently subscribes to Reuters. Reuters operates in more than 200 cities in 94 countries in about 20 languages.[citation needed]

The last surviving member of the Reuters family founders, Marguerite Baroness de Reuter, died at age 96 on 25 January 2009, after having suffered a series of strokes.[4]


Reuters employs several thousand journalists.[5] Reuters journalists use the Reuters Handbook of Journalism[6] as a guide for fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests, to maintain the values of integrity and freedom upon which their reputation for reliability, accuracy, speed and exclusivity relies.[6]

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 killed in separate incidents by U.S. troops in Iraq. In July 2007, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed when they were struck by fire from a U.S. military Apache helicopter in Baghdad.[7][8] During 2004, cameramen Adlan Khasanov in Chechnya and Dhia Najim in Iraq were also killed. In April 2008, cameraman Fadel Shana was killed in the Gaza Strip after being hit by an Israeli tank.[9]

The first Reuters journalist to be taken hostage in action was Anthony Grey. Detained by the Chinese government while covering China's Cultural Revolution in Peking in the late 1960s, it was said to be in response to the jailing of several Chinese journalists by the colonial British government of Hong Kong.[10] He was considered to be the first political hostage of the modern age and was released after being imprisoned for 27 months from 1967 to 1969. Awarded an OBE by the British Government after his release, he went on to become a best-selling historical novelist.


Name Nationality Location Date
Hos Maina Kenyan Somalia 12 July 1993
Dan Eldon Kenyan Somalia 12 July 1993
Kurt Schork American Sierra Leone 24 May 2000
Taras Protsyuk Ukrainian Iraq 8 April 2003
Mazen Dana Palestinian Iraq 17 August 2003
Adlan Khasanov Russian Chechnya 9 May 2004
Dhia Najim Iraqi Iraq 1 November 2004
Waleed Khaled Iraqi Iraq 28 August 2005
Namir Noor-Eldeen Iraqi Iraq 12 July 2007[11]
Saeed Chmagh Iraqi Iraq 12 July 2007[11]
Fadel Shana'a Palestinian Gaza Strip 16 April 2008
Hiro Muramoto Japanese Thailand 10 April 2010
Sabah al-Bazee Iraqi Iraq 29 March 2011
Molhem Barakat Syrian Syria 20 December 2013

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Policy of objective language[edit]

Reuters building entrance in New York City

Reuters's journalistic objectivism has been questioned when Reuters commented on the possible insensitivity of it barring its reporters from using the word terrorist in reports, including the 11 September attacks.[5] Reuters, in their values-neutral approach, has been careful to use the word terrorist only in direct quotes.[5] The global head of news for Reuters, Stephen Jukes, said in an internal memo: "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.", and added: "We're trying to treat everyone on a level playing field, however tragic it's been and however awful and cataclysmic for the American people and people around the world."[5][12] 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."[citation needed] Reuters later apologised for what they described as "the insensitive manner" in which they characterized their policy and said their policy is "to avoid the use of emotional terms and not make value judgments concerning the facts we attempt to report accurately and fairly".[13]

The 20 September 2004 edition of the New York Times reported that the Reuters global managing editor, David A. Schlesinger, objected to Canadian newspapers' editing of Reuters articles by inserting the word terrorist, stating that "my goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity."[14]

However, when reporting the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the service reported, "Police said they suspected terrorists were behind the bombings." This line appeared to break with their previous policy and was also criticized.[15] Reuters later clarified by pointing out they include the word "when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech," and the headline was an example of the latter.[16] The news organization has subsequently used "terrorist" without quotations when the article clarifies that it is someone else's words.[citation needed]

Climate change reporting[edit]

In July 2013, David Fogarty, former Reuters climate change correspondent in Asia, resigned after a career of almost 20 years with the company and wrote about a "climate of fear" which resulted in "progressively, getting any climate change-themed story published got harder" following comments from then deputy editor-in-chief Paul Ingrassia that he was a "climate change sceptic." In his comments, Fogarty stated that "Some desk editors happily subbed and pushed the button. Others agonised and asked a million questions. Debate on some story ideas generated endless bureaucracy by editors frightened to take a decision, reflecting a different type of climate within Reuters—the climate of fear," and that "by mid-October, I was informed that climate change just wasn't a big story for the present. ... Very soon after that conversation I was told my climate change role was abolished."[17][18] Ingrassia, currently Reuters' managing editor, formerly worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones for 31 years.[19] Reuters responded to Fogarty's piece by stating that "Reuters has a number of staff dedicated to covering this story, including a team of specialist reporters at Point Carbon and a columnist. There has been no change in our editorial policy."[20]

Subsequently climate blogger Joe Romm cited a Reuters article on climate as employing "false balance," and quoted Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, Co-Chair of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute that "[s]imply, a lot of unrelated climate skeptics nonsense has been added to this Reuters piece. In the words of the late Steve Schneider, this is like adding some nonsense from the Flat Earth Society to a report about the latest generation of telecommunication satellites. It is absurd." Romm opined that "We can't know for certain who insisted on cramming this absurd and non-germane 'climate sceptics nonsense' into the piece, but we have a strong clue. If it had been part of the reporter's original reporting, you would have expected direct quotes from actual skeptics, because that is journalism 101. The fact that the blather was all inserted without attribution [without citing source] suggests it was added at the insistence of an editor."[21]

Photograph controversies[edit]

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.[22] On 7 August 2006, Reuters announced it had severed all ties with Hajj and said his photographs would be removed from its database.[23]

In 2010 Reuters was criticised again for "anti-Israeli" bias when it cropped the edges of photos, removing commandos' knives held by activists and a naval commando's blood from photographs taken aboard the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza flotilla raid, a raid that left nine Turkish activists dead. It has been alleged that in two separate photographs, knives held by the activists were cropped out of the versions of the pictures published by Reuters.[24] Reuters said it is standard operating procedure to crop photos at the margins, and replaced the cropped images with the original ones after it was brought to the agency's attention.[24]

Accusations of pro-Fernando Henrique Cardoso bias[edit]

In March 2015, the Brazilian affiliate of Reuters released a text containing an interview with Brazilian ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso about the ongoing Petrobrás scandal. One of the paragraphs mentioned a comment by a former Petrobrás manager, in which he suggests corruption in that company may date back to Cardoso's presidency. Attached to it, there was a comment between parenthesis: "Podemos tirar se achar melhor" ("we can take it out if [you] think it's better"),[25] which is now absent from the current version of the text.[26] The agency later issued a text in which they confirm the mistake, explaining it was a question by one of the Brazilian editors to the journalist who wrote the original text in English, and that it was not supposed to be published.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Company History". Thomson Reuters. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Reuters (news agency)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Mark A. Stevens (2001). Merriam Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia. Merriam-Webster. pp. 1,366. ISBN 978-0877790174. 
  4. ^ "Baroness de Reuter, last link to news dynasty, dies". ABC News (Australia). Reuters. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "MEDIA MATTERS - REUTERS ADMITS 'TERRIBLE QUALITY'; E-mail from managing editor sparks anger among reporters". WorldNetDaily. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Main Page - Handbook of Journalism". 23 September 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (5 April 2010). "Video Shows U.S. Killing of Reuters Employees". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Collateral Murder - Wikileaks - Iraq". YouTube. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Al-Mughrabi, Nidal (April 16, 2008). "Reuters cameraman killed in Gaza". Reuters. 
  10. ^ "Foreign Correspondents:The Tiny World of Anthony Grey". Time. 20 December 1968. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Tyson, Ann Scott, "Military's Killing of 2 Journalists in Iraq Detailed in New Book", The Washington Post, 15 September 2009, p. 7.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (2012). The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. New York: Sentinel, Penguin Group. pp. 4–6. ISBN 9781101572351. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Reuters 'text of a letter sent to the editors of certain US newspapers'". Reuters. 2 October 2001. Archived from the original on 2 October 2001. 
  14. ^ Austen, Ian (20 September 2004). "Reuters Asks a Chain to Remove Its Bylines". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  15. ^ "The Wall Street Journal Online – Best of the Web Today". Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "Reuters – About Reuters – About us". Market Update & News Provided by 
  17. ^ Kroh, Kiley (16 July 2013). "Reuters Exposed: Publication Openly Hostile To Climate Coverage, Top Editor Doubts Climate Science". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Climate Change 'Climate of Fear': Reporter Blows Whistle on Reuters | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community". Common Dreams. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Chris O'Shea (16 April 2013). "Reuters Sends Paul Ingrassia to London | FishbowlNY". Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  20. ^ Chris Roush (16 July 2013). "Ex-Reuters journalist: Wire service not interested in climate change stories". Talking Biz News. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  21. ^ Romm, Joe (21 July 2013). "False Balance Lives At Reuters: Climatologist Slams 'Absurd' Use Of 'Unrelated Climate Skeptics Nonsense'". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Reuters admits altering Beirut photo - Israel News, Ynetnews". 20 June 1995. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Reuters toughens rules after altered photo affair Photos". Retrieved Jan 2007. 
  24. ^ a b Mozgovaya, Natasha (8 June 2010). "Reuters under fire for removing weapons, blood from images of Gaza flotilla". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  25. ^ "Para blindar FHC, 'Reuters' propõe em matéria: 'podemos tirar se achar melhor'". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese). 25 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  26. ^ Winter, Brian (23 March 2015). "Entrevista-FHC diz que Lula tem mais responsabilidade política em caso Petrobras do que Dilma". Reuters Brasil (in Portuguese). Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "Podemos tirar, se achar melhor". CartaCapital (in Portuguese). Editora Confiança. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 


  • Read, Donald (1992). The Power of News: The History of Reuters 1849–1989. Oxford, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821776-5.
  • Mooney, Brian; Simspon, Barry (2003). Breaking News: How the wheels came off at Reuters. Capstone. ISBN 1-84112-545-8.
  • Fenby, Jonathan (12 February 1986). The International News Services. Schocken Books. p. 275. ISBN 0-8052-3995-2, ISBN 978-0-8052-3995-9. 
  • Schwarzlose, Richard (1 January 1989). Nation's Newsbrokers Volume 1: The Formative Years: From Pretelegraph to 1865. Northwestern University Press. p. 370. ISBN 0-8101-0818-6, ISBN 978-0-8101-0818-9. 
  • Schwarzlose, Richard (1 February 1990). Nation's Newsbrokers Volume 2: The Rush to Institution: From 1865 to 1920. Northwestern University Press. p. 366. ISBN 0-8101-0819-4, ISBN 978-0-8101-0819-6. 
  • Schwarzlose, Richard (June 1979). The American Wire Services. Ayer Co Pub. p. 453. ISBN 0-405-11774-4. 
  • Silberstein-Loeb, Jonathan. The International Distribution of News: The Associated Press, Press Association, and Reuters, 1848-1947 (2014)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]