Thomson Reuters Foundation

Last updated

Thomson Reuters Foundation
Founded1983  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
United Kingdom
Key people
Revenue14,396,528 pound sterling (2018)  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Number of employees
84 (2018)  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Thomson Reuters Foundation is a London-based charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, a Canadian news conglomerate. [2] The Foundation is registered as a charity in the United States and United Kingdom and is headquartered in Canary Wharf, London. [3]


Antonio Zappulla has been CEO since 2016. [4]



In September 1997, the Reuters Foundation launched AlertNet, a website providing free humanitarian news and information. AlertNet was set up in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwanda genocide as a response to criticism of the slow media response and poorly coordinated activities of the relief agencies on the ground. AlertNet aimed to facilitate co-ordination among relief workers. [5] In 2004, the Foundation created, Iraq's first independent national news agency, Aswat al-Iraq (Voices of Iraq), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI). [6] [7]

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Following the acquisition of Reuters by the Canadian group Thomson Corporation on 17 April 2008, the Foundation was transformed under the leadership of Monique Villa. The Foundation scaled down its grant making activities, revamped existing programs and launched new projects – all aimed at leveraging the skills and expertise of the company. [8] [9]

In January 2010, with the Haitian earthquake, the Foundation launched an Emergency Information Service (EIS) aimed at providing practical, life-saving information to survivors in local languages. [10] [11]

Key programmes


TrustLaw is a legal program created in 2010 that connects the law firms and corporate legal teams with NGOs and social enterprises to provide legal pro bono. [12]

Journalism and media training

From 1983,[ citation needed ] The Foundation provides skills-based training programmes to reporters worldwide in seven languages and across 170 countries. As of 2015, over 15,000 journalists have been trained internationally on 27 specialised training topics. [13]

The Foundation also sets up and manages independent news platforms. The Foundation launched Aswat Masriya in 2011, an independent Egyptian news website which closed in 2017 due to lack of funding. [14] Ahead of the country's first general elections in November 2015, the Foundation also launched Myanmar Now, a new portal dedicated to free and independent journalism in Myanmar led by Burmese journalists. The latter won the European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2015 for a feature on underage sex workers. [15]

Set up in 2006 and part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, the Foundation funds the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), a research centre for international comparative journalism. [16]

In 2012, the Foundation was one of the co-founders of the European Press Prize. [17]

Thomson Reuters Foundation News

The foundation has correspondents and freelancers in the major cities and developing nations. The editorial team led by Belinda Goldsmith covers human rights, inclusive economies and media freedom, including women's rights, LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and modern slavery, property rights and digital and climate change. [18]

Perception polls

The Foundation has created polls for The World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Women (2011), [19] Best and Worst G20 Countries for Women (2012), [20] Best and Worst Arab League Countries for Women (2013), [21] the Most Dangerous Transport Systems for Women (2014), [22] and the Five Key Issues Facing Women Working in the G20 (2015). [23] In 2018 the foundation released a poll that ranked India as the most dangerous country for women. The report was rejected by India's National Commission for Women [24] and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies [25] and news media due to poor methodology and lack of transparency. [26]

Trust Conference

Trust Conference, formerly Trust Women, works for law behind human rights and fight modern slavery. [27] Past speakers have included Cherie Blair, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Nobel laureates Kailash Satyarthi and Muhammad Yunus. [28]

As part of the Trust Women Conference's program, Monique Villa announced the launch of the Stop Slavery Award, a new initiative by the Thomson Reuters Foundation [29] to recognise companies supporting the fight against modern slavery in their supply chains. The first Award was conferred in November 2016. [30] Under the program, the Thomson Reuters Foundation worked with the office of the Manhattan District Attorney and major U.S. financial institutions to issue international guidance aimed at helping the wider financial communities to identify and report irregularities in financial transactions linked to human trafficking. [31]


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