Insult to brave agency staff

How much is an exclusive report worth, filed at some personal risk from the only reporter at the scene, of a dramatic story of international significance, when you’re a national newspaper? If you’re the Daily Record it would seem that £75 is the answer. That’s what its newsdesk apparently offered Kent News & Pictures for Grant Hodgson’s report of the bombing of the United Nations building in Baghdad in which 20 people died.

The company’s disgust at such an “insulting” sum highlights graphically the plight of many news agencies, often the first to be squeezed when times get tough.

Yet without them, Hodgson’s fearless reporting – and countless other vital stories – would never see the light of day.

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