These are tough days for news agencies. Yesterday staff at Kent News and Pictures were told that the agency, started by former Evening Standard journalist Chris Eades in Maidstone in 1993, is to cease trading.
Around 10 editorial staff are expected to lose their jobs. Agency insiders claim that the nationals are slashing the rates for stories and pictures and putting out far fewer commissions making it extremley hard for news agencies to stay afloat in the recession.
It is also claimed that cutbacks in the regional press are leading to less news stories with national appeal being uncovered and published.
In 2003, Kent News and Pictures was the first independent British news agency to send journalists to Iraq. Reporter Grant Hodgson was the only British journalist to cover the UN headquarters bombing and his first-person account was widely syndicated throughout the national press.