Reading-based news agency INS celebrated a world exclusive this week, after scooping an interview with the sons of jailed Canoe couple John and Anne Darwin.
INS deputy editor Tom Hendry said all the nationals were chasing an interview with the Darwin boys as the trial of their parents neared completion at Teesside Crown Court.
He said: ‘There were six-figure sums being bandied around and the bidding was fierce. I had spent five months talking to Mark and Anthony and gaining their confidence. They were very, very suspicious of the media following days of being doorstepped at the time the canoe story broke.
‘Eventually I persuaded them that the media is not populated entirely by vultures and I obtained their trust. It was then a case of deciding which newspaper would respect their views and pay the substantial sum their story was worth.
‘I was able to come up with a package for the Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Mirror and Closer magazine, despite stiff competition and offers from numerous other publications and TV companies.
‘INS also has the foreign rights to the boys’ story,’he added.
The Mail on Sunday trailed the story on page one with a ‘world exclusive’label and then ran it over four pages inside. The Sunday Mirror used the interview and pictures as a double page spread.