A History of the Trust Principles
The Trust Principles were created in 1941, in the midst of World War II, in agreement with the Newspaper Publishers Association and the Reuters shareholders at the time. The Principles imposed obligations on Reuters and its employees to act at all times with integrity, independence and freedom from bias and fortified them in carrying out the difficult and delicate tasks with which they were faced.
Reuters Directors and shareholders were determined to protect and preserve the Trust Principles established in 1941 when Reuters became a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. A unique structure was put in place to achieve this. A new company was formed and given the name 'Reuters Founders Share Company Limited', its purpose being to hold a 'Founders Share' in Reuters.
The charter documents of Thomson Reuters Corporation require Thomson Reuters Directors, in the performance of their duties, to have due regard to the Trust Principles, by the proper exercise of their powers and in accordance with their other duties as Directors.
The Trust Principles are:
- That Reuters shall at no time pass into the hands of any one interest, group or faction;
- That the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Thomson Reuters shall at all times be fully preserved;
- That Reuters shall supply unbiased and reliable news services to newspapers, news agencies, broadcasters and other media subscribers and to businesses governments, institutions, individuals and others with whom Thomson Reuters has or may have contracts;
- That Thomson Reuters shall pay due regard to the many interests which it serves in addition to those of the media; and
- That no effort shall be spared to expand, develop and adapt the news and other services and products so as to maintain its leading position in the international news and information business.
Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company was established in 1984 when Reuters became a public company. The Directors of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company have a duty to ensure, to the extent possible, that the Trust Principles are complied with.
The Directors of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company are experienced and eminent people from the world of politics, diplomacy, media, public service and business. The Directors are selected by a nomination committee and proposed to the board of Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company for appointment. The nomination committee also has unique features. Two of its members are judges from the European Court of Human Rights and assist in scrutinizing candidates' suitability. The Thomson Reuters board has two representatives on the committee and Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company's board has five representatives, including its chairman. Other members are representatives of the press associations from the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The number of Directors has to be at least 14 and not more than 18. Directors have a minimum of two meetings per year, and receive reports on our activities in the different fields in which we operate. The Directors meet with both the Thomson Reuters Board and representatives of senior management. Through Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company's Chairman, regular contact is maintained with our company. The relationship is one of trust and confidence.
Independence of Thomson Reuters
Customers across the world depend on us to provide them with reliable and objective news and information.
This means that we have a special need to safeguard our independence and integrity and avoid any bias which may stem from control by specific individuals or interests.
The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles were adopted in 1941 and include the preservation of integrity, reliability of news, development of the news business and related principles.
Today, these principles are fundamental to our entire business.
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