These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biases sources.
- Overall, we rate Reuters Least Biased based on objective reporting and Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information with minimal bias and a clean fact check record.
Factual Reporting: VERY HIGH
Country: United Kingdom
World Press Freedom Rank: UK 35/180
Founded in 1851, Reuters is the world’s leading international multimedia news agency. It is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Reuters was founded by Paul Julius Reuter, a German-born immigrant, who moved to London and opened an office that transmitted stock market quotations between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover cable. He had previously used pigeons to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels, which was also a common way to dispatch news. However, the Agence Havas (the predecessor of today’s AFP) was the first to start using the Morse telegraph. According to an article titled ”CHRONOLOGY: Reuters, from pigeons to multimedia merger”, overland telegraph and undersea cables enabled Reuters to expand its service beyond Europe to the Far East in 1872 and South America by 1874. During both World Wars, Reuters came under pressure from the British government to serve British interests. In 1941 Reuters avoided this pressure by restructuring itself as a private company. Stephen J. Adler is the President and Editor-in-Chief of Reuters.
Funded by / Ownership
In April 2008, British company Reuters Group was acquired by Thomson Corporation and formed Thomson Reuters. Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, which is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals and is owned by The Woodbridge Company Limited, which owns approximately 62.35% of common shares and is the principal and controlling shareholder of Thomson Reuters – see Fact Book 2017 (pg 83) and Annual Report 2017. The Woodbridge Company Limited is based in Toronto, Canada. The chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters is James (Jim) C. Smith, and the chairman is David Thomson, who is also a Chairman of Woodbridge.
Analysis / Bias
In 2018, Reuters was named the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes on international reporting for exposing the methods of police killing squads in Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and for feature photography documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
In review, when covering Trump administration news, Reuters Editor In Chief wrote this message to staff “Covering Trump the Reuters Way” urging them to stick with the Reuters “Trust Principles.” However, after the Capital Gazette shooting, Reuters Breaking news editor Rob Cox tweeted “This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul.” Cox later apologized and deleted the tweet. Regarding the incident, Steve Adler, Editor-in-Chief, published a statement regarding Rob Cox’s tweet stating “Mr. Cox’s actions were inconsistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles requiring journalists to maintain freedom from bias. We do not condone his behavior and will take appropriate action.”
In reporting, Reuters uses minimally biased emotional language in their headlines such as “Oregon right-wingers clash with anti-fascists at march in Portland” and “Trump lawyer Cohen vows to defend himself, puts family first: ABC News”, sourcing credible local sources such as the Oregonian newspaper and ABC news. In most cases Reuters journalists are the primary source of stories and consistently report with minimal bias, covering both sides of issues.
A factual search reveals that Reuters has an excellent track record with fact-checkers.
Overall, we rate Reuters Least Biased based on objective reporting and Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information with minimal bias and a clean fact check record. (7/10/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 10/24/2019)