Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in Canary Wharf, London, England, United Kingdom and 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, forming part of its financial and risk division. It transmits news in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese 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
The first newspaper client to subscribe was the London Morning Advertiser in 1858.
Reuters employs several thousand journalists. 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 fired upon by a U.S. military Apache helicopter in Baghdad after having been mistakenly identified as carrying weapons. 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 using flechettes.
The first Reuters journalist to be taken hostage in action was Anthony Grey. Detained 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. He was considered to be the first political hostage of the modern age and was released after almost two years of solitary confinement. Awarded an OBE by the British Government in recognition of this, he went on to become a best-selling author.
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.
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.