2011 was a year of growth and global impact for the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
TrustLaw Connect, launched in July 2010, has become the market place for free legal assistance, making the practice of pro bono more efficient and accessible in 140 countries worldwide. Membership has grown in 2011 to 600, with some 200 law firms and general counsels and 400 NGOs and social entrepreneurs in need of free legal support. TrustLaw Connect has generated $11 million worth of free legal advice for the beneficiaries of TrustLaw this year.
On the editorial side, TrustLaw’s news and information sites on anti-corruption and women’s rights have gained international respect and recognition. The first of our annual expert polls named the world’s five most dangerous countries for women and continues to generate headlines, especially in Asia, on a daily basis.
It was an award-winning year for the revamped AlertNet, our global humanitarian news site, with extraordinary multimedia stories from the field, including an exclusive reporting trip to North Korea. Our journalists set the agenda on the human impacts of natural disasters, wars, hunger, disease and climate change. And with the launch of YouTrust, a new multimedia social media platform, our communities of aid workers, lawyers, social entrepreneurs and journalists have a fantastic set of tools to engage others on issues they care about.
TrustMedia too had an extraordinary year, organising more journalism and media-training courses around the world than ever before. In October, the team launched in Egypt Aswat Masriya, a website in Arabic and English to provide fair, independent and accurate news and information around Egypt’s elections.
Meanwhile, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University increased its global reach and set the standard for the comparative study of journalism worldwide in a critical year for the profession. The institute produced a record number of publications that have been downloaded 390,000 times. The Oxford fellowship programme was enhanced by journalists from China, Egypt, Russia and Sudan.
In 2012, the Foundation will focus on Brazil and China, where our services for NGOs, social entrepreneurs, lawyers and journalists are strongly needed. TrustLaw should reach 1,000 members in 2012. We will also organise a crucial conference on women’s rights in partnership with the International Herald Tribune. Called Trust Women, this conference will bring together leaders from corporations, law firms, government and civil society to examine what works when women’s rights are placed at the heart of economic and social development.