The Rothschilds don’t own Reuters or the Associated Press

29 April 2022
What was claimed

Reuters owns the Associated Press.

Our verdict

Incorrect. The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative.

What was claimed

The Rothschilds own Reuters.

Our verdict

Incorrect. Reuters is part of Thomson Reuters, which is majority-owned by the Thomson family.

A post on Instagram claims that members of the Rothschild family own the news agency Reuters and that Reuters owns the Associated Press (AP), another news agency. Neither of these claims are true.

The post says: “There are 6 media companies that exist today, but there used to be 88. All 6 get their news from Reuters and the Associated Press. Reuters owns the AP and Rothschilds own Reuters.”

We’re not sure where the claim that there used to be 88 media companies comes from. Various articles have referred to a dominant group of six US media companies in the past, but they are not always the same companies, and there are clearly more than six in the world, although the exact number may depend on how the phrase is defined.

That aside, Reuters and the Associated Press certainly provide news that is widely used by other media companies.

However, the Associated Press isn’t owned by Reuters. An Associated Press spokesperson told us by email: “AP is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative, owned by no one. Reuters has nothing to do with AP.”

And Reuters is part of Thomson Reuters, a Canadian company, whose most recent annual report says: “As of December 31, 2021, the Company’s principal shareholder, The Woodbridge Company Limited (“Woodbridge”), beneficially owned approximately 67% of the Company’s common shares.” The Woodbridge Company is owned by the Thomson family of Canada.

What about the Rothschilds?

In the 19th century, banking firm N M Rothschild & Sons was an early patron of Paul Julius Reuter, who founded Reuters, and his new telegraph service.

We have not been able to establish whether any member of the extended Rothschild family owns any smaller part of Thomson Reuters. At the very least, however, they do not have a controlling interest.

We have written several times before about the Rothschild family, who are a common subject of conspiracy theories. 

Image courtesy of Own work

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the Rothschilds do not own Associated Press or Reuters.

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