/roy"teuhrz/, n.
a publicly owned international news and information company established in London, 1851.

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British cooperative news agency.

Founded in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter, it was initially concerned with commercial news but began to serve a growing newspaper clientele after the London Morning Advertiser subscribed in 1858. After a period of competition, Reuters and two rival agencies agreed on a division of territory and for many years held a virtual monopoly on world press services. The company remained in private hands until 1925, when its structure began moving toward a cooperative of British and Australasian press interests. By the late 20th century Reuters was a world leader in business and financial market coverage. In 1984 it became a public company under the name Reuters Group PLC.

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in full  Thomson Reuters 

      news agency founded in Britain in 1851 that became one of the leading newswire services in the world. Its headquarters are in New York City.

      The agency was established by Paul Julius Reuter (Reuter, Paul Julius, Baron von), a former bank clerk who in 1847 became a partner in Reuter and Stargardt, a Berlin book-publishing firm. The firm distributed radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions of 1848 (1848, Revolutions of), which may have brought official scrutiny on Reuter. Later that year he left for Paris, where he worked for a short time as a translator. In 1849 he initiated a prototype news service (news agency), using electric telegraphy as well as carrier pigeons in his network. Upon moving to England, he launched Reuter's Telegram Company two years later. The company was concerned with commercial news service at its inception and had headquarters in London serving banks, brokerage houses, and leading business firms. The agency expanded steadily, and in 1858 its first newspaper client, the London Morning Advertiser, subscribed. Newspapers bulked ever larger in the Reuters clientele thereafter. The value of Reuters to newspapers lay not only in the financial news it provided but in its ability to be the first to report on stories of international importance, as when the service broke the news of the assassination of U.S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln hours before its competitors.

      Reuter saw the possibilities of the telegraph for news reporting and built up an organization that maintained correspondents throughout the world. The Press Association (PA), an organization representing the provincial press of Great Britain, acquired a majority interest in Reuters in 1925 and full ownership some years later. In 1941 the PA sold half of Reuters to the Newspaper Proprietors' Association, representing Britain's national press, and in 1947 co-ownership was extended to associations representing the daily newspapers of Australia and New Zealand. Reuters had become one of the world's major news agencies, supplying both text and images to newspapers, other news agencies, and radio and television broadcasters. Directly or through national news agencies, it provided service to most countries, reaching virtually all of the world's leading newspapers and many thousands of smaller ones.

      In the 1960s Reuters became one of the first news agencies to use computers to transmit financial data overseas, and in 1973 it began making computer-terminal displays of foreign-exchange rates available to clients. In 1981 Reuters began providing the capacity to make electronic transactions over its network, and it went on to develop a wide array of electronic trading and brokering services. In 1984 Reuters became a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange. In 2008 it merged with Canadian electronic publisher Thomson Corporation to form Thomson Reuters, though in its reporting capacity the company was still commonly referred to as Reuters. In addition to maintaining its traditional news-agency business, Reuters is now a major provider of financial information, both historical and current, to businesses, governments, and individuals worldwide.

Additional Reading
Donald Read, The Power of News: The History of Reuters, 1849–1989 (1992).

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Universalium. 2010.

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