Reuters Pulls Photographs

Reuters is best known as a news service that provides reports from around the world to newspapers and broadcasters. However, news reporting accounts for less than 10% of the company's income. Its main focus is on supplying the financial markets with information and trading products. These include market data, such as share prices and currency rates, research and analytics, as well as trading systems that allow 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. Competitors include Bloomberg L.P. and Dow Jones Newswires.

In the 1840s, the latest technology was the electric telegraph and Paul Julius Reuter, a German-Jew, saw that news need no longer take days or weeks to travel from one country to another. In 1850, the 34-year-old Reuter was based in Aachen on the border of Germany and Belgium and began to use the newly opened Berlin-Aachen telegraph to send news back to Berlin. But there was a 76-mile gap in the telegraph between Aachen and Brussels. Reuter spotted the opportunity to speed up news between Brussels and Berlin by using carrier pigeons to bridge the gap in the telegraph.

In 1851, Reuter moved to London as attempts to lay a submarine telegraph cable from Dover to Calais looked like succeeding, after failures in 1847 and 1850. He set up his "Submarine Telegraph" office in October 1851 just before the opening of the cable in November, and agreed 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 supplied to Paris brokers.

In 1865, Reuter's private firm was restructured and became a limited company called Reuter's Telegram Company.

Reuter's agency built a reputation in Europe for being the first to report scoops from abroad, like the news of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Today, almost every major news outlet in the world subscribes to Reuters. It operates in 200 cities in 94 countries, supplying text in 19 languages.

Reuters was floated as a public company in 1984 on the London Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ in the US. 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 this possibility, the constitution of the company at the time of flotation included a rule that no individual was allowed to hold 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%. This 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 which also had a holding in Reuters. The acquisition meant that Murdoch then held more than 15% and he was obliged to reduce the holding to less than 15% 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.

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 company had a brief foray into the radio sector with London Radio's two stations, London News 97.3 FM and London News Talk 1152 AM, which replaced LBC in 1994. A Reuters Radio News service was also set up to compete with 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 United States.

In 1940, Edward G. Robinson starred in a Hollywood film about the company called A Dispatch from Reuters.

Reuters has a committed team of several thousand journalists, who, over the years, have covered every big news event, sometimes at the cost of losing 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 lost at the hands of the US forces in Iraq. During 2004, the company lost cameramen Adlan Khasanov in Chechnya and Dhia Najim in Iraq.

Notable investments include:

* Factiva:

In May 1999, Reuters entered a joint venture with long-time rival, Dow Jones & Company, to form Factiva, a business news and information provider.

* TIBCO Software:

In July 1999 TIBCO 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.

* Instinet:

In May 2001 Instinet completed an IPO on NASDAQ; Reuters sold its majority stake in Instinet to The Nasdaq Stock Market in 2005.

* Bridge Information Systems:

On September 28, 2001, 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.

* Inc.:

In March 2003, Reuters acquired, Inc., a provider of global financial information.

* EcoWin AB:

In November 2005, Reuters acquired also EcoWin AB, Inc., a provider of global fianancial, equities, and economic data.

* Application Networks:

In June 2006, Reuters acquired Application Networks, Inc., provider of fast, flexible trade and risk management software solutions based on JRisk. JRisk is the software of choice at global investment banks and hedge funds delivering exceptional ROI.

From 1939, the Reuters corporate headquarters was in London's famous Fleet Street, but in 2005 Reuters moved to a larger building in the more modern Canary Wharf. The Reuters Building 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.

The news organization has been accused of showing bias, especially in its media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, by sources such as the National Review and the Wall Street Journal's editorial division. Some allegations are based on Reuters own admissions of doctored photographs or unprofessional behavior. Other accusations are prompted by the use of words such as "militants" or "guerrillas" instead of "terrorists" for groups that deliberately murder civilians in pursuit of political objectives. Critics claim that Reuters' avoidance of these words is selective, reflecting a larger bias against the United States, Israel, Jews, or Western values in general. Others have gainsaid this.

On May 29th, 2006, Reuters Global Head of Communication Ed Williams stated that the company had suspended an employee who used a Reuters Internet connection to send an offensive email to American blogger Charles Johnson of the weblog Little Green Footballs. Johnson, who regularly claimed that Reuters was a biased organization, quoted the message as: "I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut."

On August 7th, 2006, Reuters pulled two photographs taken by Adnan Hajj, of Beirut, Lebanon, during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. After Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs demonstrated that the first photograph was likely a forgery, Reuters "killed" the photo and admitted that the photographer had altered it in order to add smoke to the scene of Beirut, saying "photo editing software was improperly used on this image. A corrected version will immediately follow this advisory. We are sorry for any inconvience." Head of PR Moira Whittle said: "Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures." The second photograph, discovered by Rusty Shackleford, was of an Israeli F-16 Fighter Jet firing "missiles during an air strike on Nabatiyeh," according to the Reuters caption; however, the original image is alleged to have been an Israeli jet firing off a single defensive flare. After the photographs were pulled, the employment relationship Reuters had with freelancer Adnan Hajj was severed. Later, Power Line reader Robert Opalecky noticed that two additional Hajj photographs were of the same scene of destruction, in spite of the first one being from July 24 and the second one being captioned, "a building flattened during an overnight Israeli air raid on Beirut's suburbs August 5, 2006."Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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