Awards highlight byline banditry of the national press when it comes to news agency stories - Press Gazette

Awards highlight byline banditry of the national press when it comes to news agency stories

It’s a curiosity of the NAPA news agency awards that often the byline on the big screen does not match the name of journalist collecting the trophy.

That’s because (for all Press Gazette’s complaints about this issue over many years) agency reporters rarely get the credit in print for their hard work.

Sometimes the staffer involved will have done little more than re-nose the copy and tweak it for house style (while the agency journalist did all the shoe leather journalism to bring it in).

To be fair to the staffers, the decision of who gets the byline is not theirs to make but lies with senior editorial staff.

Here are some of the stories shortlisted in the NAPA awards where the bylines did not tell the whole story about who the stories were  by.

The Sun – M25 Killer Going Nowhere

Original author: Adam Gillham of Ferrari Press Agency

Byline: Steve Hawkes

NAPA awards Acid Attack


The Mail on Sunday – Devastated in an Instant, the Blameless Victims of UK’s Acid Attack Epidemic

Original author: Harriet Rose-Gale for SWNS

Byline: Olga Craig

NAPA awards Ford Focus


The Sun – We Live in a Ford Focus

Original author: Amy Sharpe of Talk To The Press

Byline: Ruth Harrison

NAPA awards poppy seller


The Sun – Killed by Her Kindness

Original author: Laura Elvin of SWNS

Byline: Alex West

NAPA awards half term court win(1)


The Sun – Parents Joy at Hols in Term Time Victory

Original author: Steven Walter of Solent News

Byline: Louie Smith

Napa heroin babe


Daily Star – From Student Babe to Heroine Hooker

Original author: Lauren Brown of Cavendish Press

Byline: Jerry Lawton



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.