“We’re investing $1 billion in the middle of what is arguably one of the most difficult economic periods we’ve seen in decades,” Chris Ahearn, Thomson Reuters’ president of media, tells PaidContent. Step one: launching the News Pro app for both Blackberry and iPhone. The apps are free to download, carry some advertising, and will launch into subscription mode somewhere down the line.

The Blackberry app, PaidContent reports, is more text-centric and will feature commentary, while the iPhone application will make use of the phone’s rich media capabilities.

And the apps are meant to reach “real” real-time, Ahearn says: “Real-time to a financial trader is measured in fractions of seconds. The web publishing world is nowhere near there. For example, a news site like paidContent publishes in real-time, in that your content is delivered immediately across a variety of sites. But it isn’t trading-oriented, it isn’t ‘real’ real-time. So is the introduction of these apps meant to give our user base access to the information at the same time they would see it on the current Reuters.com network? Yes.”