Green light for eco-news agency launch

Mercury Press Agency has teamed up with the publisher of Sustainable Innovation magazine to launch a nationwide agency providing eco-related news, features and images.

Called Green Wire, the operation went live last week and will offer breaking news, commentary, business, financial results and off-diary stories, all with a ‘green’theme, seven days a week.

The service’s team of eight reporters clinched its first scoop with a story about solar panels on the roof of the pub at the centre of the current Everest television campaign that landed its manager in trouble with planning authorities.

Mercury Press chief executive Chris Johnson is working with Stuart Qualtrough, an old colleague and former Mercury employee who is now publishing director at Sustainable Publishing.

Johnson said the new site reflected the increasing need for specialist journalism.

‘Whether it’s showbiz or sport or the environment, I think the future is in experts and specialism,’he said.

‘I think it’s an era, certainly in terms of UK national and provincial newspapers, where there’s a big appetite for stories about environment issues and sustainable issues. It’s an area where we can serve our customers and, hopefully, contribute to the debate.”

Qualtrough came up with the idea while setting up the editorial board for the company’s launch title, Sustainable Innovation.

‘Our clients told us that there was much confusion in the market as many companies and organisations try to attach eco credentials to their products and services,’he said.

‘We want to provide a service that cuts through this so-called greenwash, and offer a new level of scrutiny to deliver a feed of relevant and compelling content.”

Sustainable Publishing, which is based near Tunbridge Wells, will oversee the remote network of journalists, who work for both the Green Wire and for the magazine. Picture desk operations will be based at Mercury’s offices in Liverpool.

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