Ban the byline bandits: Agency journalists recognised at NAPA awards, but bylines tell a different story

Axegrinder admits that he feared freelance journalist Sheron Boyle would ‘never work in this town again’ after railing against byline bandits at The Sun in a Press Gazette last month.

So I was pleasantly surprised when new Sun editor David Dinsmore responded on Twitter by saying that she makes a good point.

It looks like the fluffy, friendly, non phone-hacking News UK will be taking action to address the problem of staffers stealing bylines from freelances.

But what about the rest of Fleet Street?

The recent National Association of Press Agencies awards suggest that no matter how good your story is, if you're not on the staff you can whistle for a byline.

Axegrinder knows that sometimes news editors will stick a staffer’s byline on agency copy, and there may be little the reporter can do about it.

But it was interesting nonetheless to compare the names of the various agency journalist award-winners at the NAPA awards with the names which appeared next to the stories once they had appeared in print.

Exclusive of the year runner up: Lauren Brown, Cavendish Press.

Byline in the Daily Express: Jan Disley.

Exclusive of the year winner: Will Humphries of Wales News Service.

Byline in the Daily Mirror: Richard Smith.

Spec news story of the year winner: Paul Vass of Bournemouth News and Pictures.

Byline in the Daily Mail: Paul Harris. Byline in The Sun: Jamie Pyatt.

More contributions will be gratefully received.

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