Freelance journalist Terry Pattinson has criticised the Surrey Herald for offering him £5 for an exclusive front-page story he supplied at the 11th hour.
As the 14,897-circulation weekly edged towards its deadline Pattinson said he received a call from the paper asking for possible stories for a frontpage lead as the original splash had fallen through.
Pattinson said he was offered £5 for background, documents and contact numbers he supplied for the story about extra powers being given to police to confiscate alcohol from young people.
When Pattinson asked for more, he said he was offered £10.
Pattinson said: "I had a story I was working on for the paper for the following week and I said they could have it.
I laid the story on a plate for them. The editor said they paid £5 for tips, but this wasn't an ordinary tip about a car in a ditch, this was the front-page lead.
They offered me a fiver for a splash when Trinity's chief executive Sly Bailey is on a £1m a year."
A spokesperson for the Herald said: "There wasn't an agreed fee for frontpage tips, and Terry was offered the standard fee. After further discussions with the editor, Terry was paid the full amount (£40) for a page-lead story as a gesture of goodwill."