Court news agency struggles as papers refuse to pay full amount for stories

A news agency which covers the Royal Courts of Justice has hit out at news organisations that refuse to pay the agency's rates or pay promptly.

Strand News provides copy to "virtually every regional newspaper in the whole country", most national newspapers, the BBC and independent television and radio news providers.

In a letter to most of the news editors of Strand's 1,000 customers, editor James Brewster wrote: "Many of our customers receive hundreds of stories from us each year, for a great deal less than the cost of employing a single junior reporter.

"If matters continue in the way they are, we will not be able to continue with our current level of service and we will have to consider our future."

Brewster told Press Gazette that some of the agency's clients tried to apply lower rates than the agency charged to copy it had provided.

He said: "We think more money is spent administering our payments than we actually get paid."

Brewster, however, denied the agency is facing closure. Strand News has seven reporters, providing 4,000 stories a year and has been running since 1991.

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