Thomson to launch global news service

Thomson to launch global news service

Thomson Financial is gearing up to a launch an international news service later this year in a bid to steal a march on rivals Reuters and Bloomerg.

According to a Financial Times report Thomson began providing news to US clients in 2005 and is looking to expand this service globally. The vendor is building its global news and information network on the back of AFX, the European business news agency it acquired last year.

Since buying AFX Thomson has doubled the number of reporters the unit employs to around 500 and has opened new bureaux in Lisbon, Vienna, Budapest and Warsaw, with more planned in the future.

The new global service will provide about 10,000 stories per day aimed at financial professionals, with general news provided by Associated Press news feeds.

The Canadian vendor has invested in technology to automate the generation of news items based on standard financial information, such as financial results, says the report.

This technology is currently generating about 2000 stories a day but eventually these computer-generated items will make up around a third of the stories for the global service, while a third will come from news partnerships with local language services. The remainder will come from Thomson's own network of reporters.

Sharon Rowlands, president and chief executive of Thomson Financial, told the FT that new technology and the easy availability of information like corporate earnings have allowed the company to set up a global service quickly and cheaply.

She says the service will integrate Thomson's news with information available on the Web.

The vendor is expected to provide details of the news service to its clients over the next month.

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