News with a hard-hitting impact

by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 12:13 GMT

The Foundation’s editorial team covers stories at the heart of aid, development, women’s rights, human trafficking, climate change, and corruption. These are some of the world’s most pressing issues, but often those affected have no voice. Our journalists work to ensure that these people are not forgotten and to raise awareness about these often underreported issues. Our stories have massive international exposure, reaching up to one billion people a day through the Reuters wire. What we write has the power to prompt action.

In March, we reported on an innovative programme in Kenya that encourages young boys to stand up against violence towards women. The charity, Ujamaa Africa, had been trying to get funding to further expand the project. After our story ran, Executive Director Jake Sinclair was contacted by several donor agencies that had seen our coverage and wanted to provide additional funding worth over $3 million USD. 

“We have had dozens of article and video features but your article went the furthest by far. I believe it was in large part due to your journalistic craft, combining such terrible truths with facts and hope for a way forward.” -Jake Sinclair

Have a look at other stories that led to real impact:

Stronger Laws to Protect Women: Our poll on the world’s most dangerous transport systems for women ranked Bogota worst. A leading Senator’s aide in Colombia told the Foundation that the poll will help them push through a new bill to toughen laws against those who carry out sexual abuse and harassment against women, including on public transport. Assistant Chief Constable Mark Newton of the British Transport Police also responded to the survey and urged Londoners to report incidents they witness on public transport so the police can act and prevent similar crimes.

Improved Security to Fight Ebola: Our West Africa correspondent investigated efforts to contain Ebola numbers in Guinea amid violence against aid workers who had been able to stop rumours and myths and secret burials. Our story prompted the Red Cross to issue a press release acknowledging attacks on some of its workers. Several embassies then contacted the Red Cross asking how they could help improve security and get the message out to villages.

More Action to Protect Women: Our story about women in India reporting domestic violence at ATM style kiosks was taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a conference of senior police and intelligence officials.

Improvement in Workers’ Rights: Our story about UK, Spanish and French government agencies bailing out a listed Canadian company Feronia running palm oil plantations in the Democratic Republic of Congo found workers being paid less than the minimum wage and living in appalling conditions. After our story, the company announced a deal with MASS Design Group to assess and redesign the social infrastructure around its operations.

Boost Gay Rights: All Out is creating a petition as a result of our article on the gay community under attack in Liberia over Ebola outbreak.

The Modern Witch Hunt: A 60-year-old woman living in an Indian village located in the Mayurbhanj district was beaten, stripped and tied to an electricity pole accused of being a witch. She was blamed for the death of an 18-year-old boy, despite medical records showing he had in fact died of malaria. We reported the incident and as a result, arrests were made.

Scarred by the Sex Trade: In Pakistan, 20-year-old Zunaira Muhammad dreamed of becoming a software engineer. She planned to work in a beauty shop to finance her studies. Instead, she was duped by a gang and trafficked back and forth from Pakistan to Dubai, sold for sex. Zunaira managed to escape, but the trafficking gang attacked her home, shot her and left bullet wounds running from her ankle to knee. Her family went into hiding. The courts refused to touch the case until we ran a interview with the headline, “Protect me from the beasts.” Four days later, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif requested an investigation. The Islamabad High Court ordered the arrest of the suspected ringleaders, and the judge cited our story in the courtroom. The traffickers haven’t been brought to justice yet, but Zunaira remains undeterred. She is planning to apply for college and her father has promised to let her continue her education.

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