Media and Journalism Webinars Session 4: Introducing Thomson Reuters Foundation

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Media and Journalism Webinars Session 4: Introducing Thomson Reuters Foundation
August 1, Monday (11:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST)


Media and Journalism Webinars emphasize experiential and hands-on learning through intensive training and interactive discussions with professional journalists for field experience. This program aims to prepare journalism students and young professionals to succeed in their professional careers while fostering experiential learning by translating knowledge and skills into experience.

In this session, participants will be able to learn about the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which promotes media freedom, supports inclusive societies, and supports human rights. Our guest speaker is Antonio Zappulla, Chief Executive Officer of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Your active and meaningful participation with questions and reflections will make the discussion more productive.

  1. Introducing Thomson Reuters Foundation
  2. TRFilter Program and

Guest Speakers

Antonio Zappulla

Chief Executive Officer, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Antonio Zappulla OMRI is Chief Executive Officer of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading content-driven technology company. Through news, media development, free legal assistance and convening initiatives, the Thomson Reuters Foundation harnesses the combined power of journalism and the law to advance media freedom, raise awareness of human rights issues, and foster more inclusive economies.

In April 2022, Antonio was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (OMRI) the highest-ranking honour of Italy. An outspoken supporter of the business case for human rights, Antonio is the founder of Openly, the world’s first global platform dedicated to coverage of LGBT+ stories with distribution to 1 billion Reuters clients daily. In 2018, Antonio ranked first in the OUTstanding list of third sector LGBT executives published by the Financial Times. In 2017, he was named a European Young Leader by Friends of Europe. In 2016, he was awarded the Talented Young Italians Award by Italian Chamber of Commerce.

Antonio is a One Young World Counsellor and a World Economic Forum agenda contributor. He sits on the Boards of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford; the Forum for Global Challenges at the Institute for Global Innovation at the University of Birmingham; the International News Safety Institute; and LGBT+ NGO Open for Business. Prior to his present role, Antonio was Executive Producer at Bloomberg Television in charge of news, factual programming and documentaries for Europe, Middle East and Africa, developing a number of Award-winning TV series distributed globally.

Antonio holds a Degree in Journalism, a master’s degree in Middle East studies, and has continued his executive education at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Summary & Highlights

On August 1, 2022, JWF Media and Journalism Webinars hosted its 4th session by Introducing Thomson Reuters Foundation and the TRFilter Program. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters, a global news and information services company working to strengthen media freedom, promote more inclusive economies, and advance human rights.

Yazeed Kamaldien started Session 4 by introducing Mr. Antonio Zappulla, the Chief Executive Officer of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which leverages the combined power of journalism and law to advance media freedom, raise awareness of human rights issues, and foster more inclusive economies through news, media development, free legal aid and rally initiatives.

speakers_0005_antonio-zappulla-1Antonio Zappulla interacted with attendees by showing a presentation on the identified studies on which Thomson Reuters was based. Initially, Antonio showed a video of the work being carried out by the Reuters Foundation in war zones throughout the pandemic and promoting human rights. The Thomson Reuters Foundation uses a dedicated collection of league and media expertise to empower the world’s most knowledgeable professionals so that their decisions can have a positive impact on people, society, and the environment. It works with journalists, civil society, businesses, and governments to advance the media, freedom, promote the inclusive economy and promote human rights.

session-4-slide-1Antonio Zappulla believes that societies should be free, fair and informed by focusing on socioeconomic inclusion, reinforcing ESG frameworks, and ensuring access to accurate dependent and reliable data through news, fair work and gathering initiatives. The goal of the Thomson Reuters Foundation is to shape a rich planet with everyone, without leaving anyone behind. Antonio underlined that his organization is based entirely on doing great things through media use and legal interventions. According to Mr. Zappulla, the media and law are effectively the two engines of work needed to liberate societies of all kinds. Antonio stated that a free, just, and uninformed society cannot function and be beneficial. He also highlighted that the Foundation was launched in 1982 and has one hundred and fifty employees in more than 17 countries around the world.

session-4-slide-2The Thomson and Reuters Foundations have 3 main areas of focus: the first is “Media Freedom” – having the media work center for democracy and development, defending media freedom, empowering the future of journalism, and also focusing on acquiring an educational portfolio, especially for journalists in developing countries in the global south mentoring and capacity building programs. The second main focus area is the work center of responsible and sustainable business models, ESG, just transition, purposeful business models, technology impact on society, realities and digital rights, and “inclusive economies”. The third area of focus is human rights, working on thematic issues such as freedom of speech and expression, climate, facts and digital rights, forced labor and human trafficking, women’s rights and LGBT+ Rights.

session-4-slide-3Antonio also informed the participants that Thomson Reuters Foundation has a network of more than 20,000 journalists and 5,500 members working in 11 languages. It also talks about the launch of its new editorial product “CONTEXT” on September 28, 2022. He talked about the Foundation’s extensive program that annually gives grants to NGOs and journalists. Also, the Thomson Reuters foundation’s flagship “Confidence Conference” – Empowering free, fair and informed societies, this year draws the attention of the audience by announcing that this event will be held October 26-27, 2022, in London.

session-4-slide-4Moving towards concluding the presentation, Antonio spoke about the launch of a new product known as TRFilter, which works heavily with twitter and uses its twitter account to detect abusive content After Antonio’s presentation, Yazeed took the floor and marked it as a comprehensive presentation, where participants from different countries asked questions about the Role of Thomson and the Reuters Foundation in presenting potential construction initiatives for journalists. Antonio kindly answered the questions by explaining the different opportunities the Thomson Reuters Foundation provides for NGOs and human rights defenders. For example, the TRF give scholarships to interested journalists to come to oxford and do research for about 6 months, and freelance journalists who are interested in human trafficking, women’s and LGBT rights.

Finally, Mehmet Kilic, President of the Journalists and Writers Foundation, asked a question about the advantages that a freelance journalist can enjoy under the Trust Law. Antonio said that the Trust Law only serves NGOs and social enterprises. He emphasized to the audience that the Thomson Reuters Foundation is working to increase Trust Law services to develop free legal support systems for newsrooms and journalists at risk. Antonio mentioned some resources that could be useful for journalists at risk, shared an initiative website called “Media Legal Help” Antonio said that in journalism, assessing the risks and situations is crucial to ensuring that life is protected. It is also important to seek help at the right time to avoid any risk. In closing the Session 4, Yazeed thanked Antonio and the attendees, and received a note as the session approached close.



Thomson Reuters Foundation 

Thomson Reuters is one of the world’s most trusted providers of answers, helping professionals make confident decisions and run better businesses. Its customers operate in complex arenas that move society forward law, tax, compliance, government, and media and face increasing complexity as regulation and technology disrupts every industry. Thomson Reuters help them reinvent the way they work. Its team of experts brings together information, innovation and authoritative insight to unravel complex situations, and worldwide network of journalists and editors keep customers up to speed on global developments that are relevant to them.



Thomson Reuters Foundation TR Filter 


TRFilter is a free web application for journalists and media practitioners. It syncs with the user’s Twitter account, automatically recognizing and flagging harmful comments. The tool limits journalists’ exposure to abusive content, allowing them to block, mute or save comments at scale. It also allows users to create reports to store or share with third parties as needed.
TRFilter is currently available for use on Twitter.



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TRUST is the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information services company. As an independent charity, registered in the UK and the USA, it works to advance media freedom, foster more inclusive economies, and promote human rights. Through news, media development, free legal assistance and convening initiatives, TRUST combines its unique services to drive systemic change.


The Legal Network for Journalists and Risk

The Legal Network for Journalists at Risk provides journalists and independent media outlets around the world with critical legal support to protect their continued reporting on issues of vital public interest. The Legal Network for Journalists at Risk (LNJAR) strategically coordinates the different types of support currently offered by various organizations with the goal of providing journalists and independent media outlets at risk with a single-entry point into an ecosystem of support. Cases against the media can take a long time to come to an end. Assistance offered through the network ranges from urgent legal representation to ongoing assistance for the duration of a case, to systemic support to improve the legal environment in which the media operates. LNJAR is an initiative comprising key member organizations and a steering committee composed of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Media Defence.