When the spies came in from the cold

Regular readers of my blog will know that, from time to time, I like to highlight the careers of women who – in a culture very different from today – bucked the trend, ignored barriers and created for themselves a place in Reuters history. Annette von Broecker, who retired in 1994 as Reuters editor in Germany, was one of those women.

Five years ago, Reuters Security Correspondent, William Maclean (today Gulf Bureau Chief), looked back at von Broecker’s first scoop – in 1962 – during the height of the Cold War era. Annette von Broecker was, in her own words, a 19-year-old blonde when Reuters hired her as an editorial assistant in West Berlin in October 1959.

Annette von Broecker

Annette von Broecker at work in the Reuters Berlin office with bureau chief Alfred Kluehs (L) a few weeks after her 1962 scoop.

She would probably never have become a journalist had it not been for a story that unfolded before her eyes at a time when history was being made; “and, of course, because my mother desperately wanted to get me out of the house,” she recounted later. There was drama aplenty in the Berlin spy swap which she witnessed one chilly February morning in 1962, amid a wind that “seemed to blow straight from the North Pole.”

In a Reuters publication, Frontlines: snapshots of history (2001), von Broecker credited her scoop to a lucky guess. After Berlin bureau chief Alfred Kluehs had sent two correspondents to Checkpoint Charlie to staff both sides of the border crossing between the divided city, she stared at a big map that was hanging on the wall behind the boss’s desk.

“He sat with his back to it. My eyes wandered about. I looked at all the coloured pins that Alfred had stuck on the map to mark important sites, such as border crossings. They stopped suddenly, in the southwest corner of Berlin. There was a border. There was a bridge. It spanned the River Havel and connected the American sector of Berlin with the East German town of Potsdam. That was where the Western allies used to have their military liaison missions, which were attached to the Soviet headquarters in East Germany. Only Allied military personnel were allowed to cross the Glienicker Bridge, an elegant iron structure in two sets of concave bows across the Havel, some 150 yards wide. (more…)

Reuters’ most popular Instagram photos so far this year

@Reuters on Instagram has nearly a quarter of a million followers and counting, treating viewers to stunning photographs that reflect beauty and diversity from around the world. Instagram followers signal their appreciation of a good image with “likes” and Reuters recently assembled a package to highlight our 20 most liked photos from our Instagram feed in 2015 so far.

Below are the top 5 most liked images; you can view the entire top 20 package here.

White house

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after the historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron


President Jimmy Carter interviewed by Reuters at our New York HQ


Reuters Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans recently interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for Reuters TV at our headquarters in New York City. Carter, whose latest book “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety” was released this week, gave a wide-ranging interview on his life from his childhood on a Georgia peanut farm to his presidency and beyond. Carter served as president from 1977-1981, and is a recipient of the Nobel Peace prize for helping broker the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel. He turned 90 last October. Speaking with Sir Harry, Carter recalled growing up in a home without running water or electricity, at a time when he said the daily wage was $1 for a man, 75 cents for a woman, and a loaf of bread cost 5 cents.

He said the civil rights movement led to important progress towards racial equality in the United States, but added,  “I think we overly relaxed after then and took for granted that this feeling of racism or superiority of white people was ended. And we’ve come to realize … that there’s still a great prejudice in police forces against black people and obviously some remnants of extreme racism, as exhibited with the horrible event in Charleston.”

Here are some other highlights of the interview: (more…)

A decade of disorder: Millions on the move


Last week, Reuters Editor at Large Sir Harold (Harry) Evans moderated a Reuters Newsmaker conversation with David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, about the responsibility wealthy countries have to support the millions of people fleeing conflict and disaster.

An audience that included our CEO Jim Smith and other employees, representatives from a number of humanitarian organizations and external media gathered at our Times Square office to get some historical context behind the current headlines on refugees from Africa, Asia, Central America and the Middle East – and Miliband’s thoughts on what can and should be done to help.

After an introduction by our Chief People Officer, Peter Warwick, Sir Harry asked Miliband about the scale of the current problem.

“As measured by the number of wars between states, this is a very peaceful period of human history.  But at the same time it’s a period when more people are fleeing conflict and disaster than at any time since 1945.” (more…)

Reuters on U.S. Legal news

Reuters legal cropped


By Amy Stevens, Executive Editor, Thomson Reuters

We are proud to announce the launch of, a new destination showcasing the best of Reuters journalism for and about lawyers.

It’s designed for readers around the globe who care about U.S. legal news—whether it’s lawsuits that move financial markets, Supreme Court cases that shape history, key practice-area developments for attorneys in their daily workflow, or the business relationships between lawyers and clients.


Reuters pictures for a future audience


By Reinhard Krause, Global Pictures Editor, Thomson Reuters

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Reuters pictures service. Our recent packages of the most iconic pictures from the past three decades have been a great success – and you can click here to see Parts One, Two and Three. But while it’s good to look back proudly at our work, it’s more important to look forward: (more…)

Churchill behind bars

Pretoria office

Reuters Pretoria Office in 1900

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister and Second World War leader, died 50 years ago in January. He was 90. Throughout his long life he was to be caught up in war and the threat of war. Late in 1899, when he was 25, he became a prisoner of the Boers. Hostilities in the Boer War (1899-1902) were conducted very differently from the way they were to be some 15 years later. Reuters also saw itself differently. Our archive tells us more…

The two independent Boer republics were situated in the south-eastern part of Africa. War with Britain broke out on October 12, 1899. Churchill became a war correspondent for The Morning Post of London at the high salary of £250 per month. Some weeks later he accompanied a scouting expedition in an armoured train. Film buffs will recall this episode from the film Young Winston. Captured by the Boers, he was imprisoned in a POW camp in Pretoria, capital of the Transvaal (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek). As a prisoner, he received two telegrams from his American mother, making use of Reuters private telegram service: (more…)

Location, location, location: Reuters-TIMA Location Services launch

Hear directly from Tim Santhouse, Reuters global head of video products, and Alla Salehian, CEO of TIMA, on how this major global partnership will enable live coverage of the biggest stories breaking across the world.

Reuters-TIMA Location Services is designed to offer location services, including studio facilities and logistical support, to broadcasters and online media outlets.

Reuters and TIMA, a global content service provider, will combine Reuters unparalleled global editorial content, seen by over a billion people every day, with TIMA’s cutting-edge technology and considerable experience of service delivery for the international media industry.


Top 10 videos from Davos

A worker prepares the sign at the entrance hall of the congress centre, the venue of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos

Here are some of the best video clips from the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos:

ECB quantitative easing won’t save the euro zone economy – Roubini

Even if the European Central Bank embarks on quantitative easing it’s unlikely to either boost the economy or tackle deflation, says NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini. What’s needed is a massive fiscal stimulus, which Germany won’t agree to. (more…)

Davos Diary – Tuesday

davos today

The buzz continues to build here in Davos as many more attendees have arrived, including our own Thomson Reuters delegates. Things kicked off this evening with a welcome message from Executive Chairman and Founder of the WEF Klaus Schwab, followed by the 21st Annual Crystal awards, an event that honors artists whose important contributions are improving the world.

Bocelli’s performance (more…)