Agency's fury at £75 for Baghdad bomb story

KNP reporter Grant Hodgson was injured in blast

A news agency has taken the unusual step of banning a national newspaper from using its copy in disgust at the low rates being paid.

Kent News and Pictures has taken the action against the Daily Record in Scotland after receiving £75 for an account of the bombing in August of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

Agency reporter Grant Hodgson was the only UK journalist to witness the bombing and his first-person account was used as a page lead in the Record.

KNP chief executive Chris Eades signalled his disgust at the payment in a memo to the Record, which has been seen by Press Gazette.

He said: “It is with regret that I ask you to refrain from using KNP copy or pictures in future editions of the Daily Record newspaper. “I would also request that you do not reproduce Daily Mirror stories that contain our material.

“Is is unfortunate that our relationship has declined to the point where it is necessary to withdraw our services, but frankly the levels of payment for the Record have become insulting. “I am particularly offended that £75 is considered to be a reasonable payment for copy filed from inside the UN building during the bombing in which 17 people died recently. “How can any journalist hold his head up and say they consider £75 to be fair reward for journalistic endeavour.”

Kent News and Pictures declined to comment further other than to say that it hoped that its dispute with the Record would soon be resolved.

According to other agency sources, £75 is considered to be the going rate paid by the Daily Record for a page lead.

“A spokesman for the Daily Record told Press Gazette: “We are surprised that this has been given a public airing as we are currently engaged in trying to resolve the matter. “Only last week the new editor of the Record, Bruce Waddell, spoke to Kent News and Pictures’ chief executive and our intention is to settle things as swiftly as possible.”

 

By Dominic Ponsford

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