Regional news man Red Williams is helping boost income for publisher Archant – and making himself some new friends among the editorial staff too.
He’s been put in charge of Archant’s syndication service, which touts the company’s very best stories among the national press.
The money raised from the Fleet Street and magazine payments gets shared between the journalist or photographer involved, and the paper they work for.
For years he has seen at first hand great stories from the regional press appearing the following day in the nationals, ripped straight out of the local papers by sharp early rising news agencies and freelancers and e-mailed or phoned in as their own work.
Red has the pick of the crop from the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Evening Star – as well as dozens of weeklies from Devon in the south, throughout London, to Peterhead, north-east Scotland.
He will select a story, check out with the relevant newsdesk that it is going in the next edition and maybe fill in a gap or two or chase a picture or contact details. Then, as soon as the local paper hits the streets, or before in the case of the evening titles, Red will send out the details on a wire service to selected titles.
Items have been sold to nationals in the UK, and publications in America, Germany, Australia and Austria.
He said: “My day starts at around 6.30am when I send out stories from the two morning papers. Then it is straight onto the evening titles, searching for hard news, human interest or something quirky.
“You have to be quick to beat the local news agencies who will get the very first papers available.”
Then it is onto the weekly titles, depending upon which is coming out the next day. Red will also ring around news editors looking for a tip-off or two.
“I must have the biggest contacts book in the industry,” said Red.
Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “Archant spends a great deal of time and money harvesting excellent news stories, often only to see them poached by people who take good profits without carrying any of the overheads. Archant Syndication redresses that imbalance.
“Red is a complete one-off, an early bird who beats the worm… helping to boost our company’s profitability!”
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