Reuters Company History


Founded in 1851, the Reuters news agency is one of the oldest players in this industry, and its presence is felt in almost every corner of the globe, providing quality reporting on events occurring in different parts of the world to broadcasters and other media outlets.

The organization was once involved in the provision of financial market data, and its news reporting revenues in those days accounted for less than 10% of its income. As many would recall, it used to concentrate on providing financial markets with relevant market information and various other trading products such as currency rates, share prices, trading systems including research and analytics.

Reuters supplied consumers of business information with professional analyses of 40,000 companies, debt instructions and regular economic updates alongside other players in the domain such as Dow Jones Newswires now (now Thomson Reuters) and Bloomberg L.P.

Reuters' tentacles reach almost every major news outlet, operating in 200 cities in 94 countries offering up to date new text in about 20 languages. The news agency's operations are bound by the Reuters Trust Principles which are designed to preserve its independence, integrity and freedom from biased reporting.

And to cater for this purpose a Reuters Founders Share Company Ltd was formed in 1984 with the aim of protecting its integrity by keeping the actions of its stakeholders in check.

It is part of the share float, holding a single but very powerful 'Founders Share' capable of outvoting all other shares, as a means of countering any hostile attempt to alter rules binding the news outfit, such as the limits on share holding for any individual (no-one exceeds 15%). The news agency ventured briefly into radio news broadcasting in the 1990's with London based radio stations - London news 97.3FM and London news Talk 1152 AM.

The company set up its very own Reuters Radio News in 2007, and went on to sign a merger agreement with the Thomson Corporation of Canada with Thomson controlling at least 53% of the new entity (Thomson Reuters), and saw instigation of the 15% limit rule waiver.

The waiver was necessitated by some poor financial performance at the time, and the Founders Share Company decided that it was appropriate to sacrifice the rules in order to save the company's future.

The men and women who have served Reuters as journalists have contributed diligently to bringing up to date news coverage to the world, and in some instances have paid the ultimate price in a quest to achieve this objective, in dangerous locations experiencing wars or some other form of upheaval. Kurt Shark was killed in Sierra Leone in 2000, while Mazen Dana and Taras Prostyak were killed in Iraq in 2003 among others. But still the Reuters reporters wagon continues to trundle even when the odds are downright perilous.

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