The Manchester Evening News, The News, Portsmouth, and the Bristol-based Western Daily Press are currently at the top of the Newspaper Society’s list to join a Ministry of Defence press pool to provide coverage of any conflict in Iraq.
If the MoD decides to provide a facility for journalists to travel with the troops, then one or more members of the Regional Press Corps will be selected to represent the industry. Their copy will be pooled between all members of the Corps.
A ballot to decide who will go has already been held for places. Newspapers currently in membership of the Press Corps, founded in 1983, are: the Daily Echo, Bournemouth; The Argus, Brighton; Bristol Evening Post; Colchester Evening Gazette; Derby Evening Telegraph; Eastern Daily Press; Evening Mail, Birmingham; Evening Star, Ipswich; Express & Star, Wolverhampton; Liverpool Echo; Manchester Evening News; Newcastle Evening Chronicle; The News, Portsmouth; Northern Echo; Shields Gazette; Southern Daily Echo; Western Daily Press and Yorkshire Evening Post.
Each has a nominated correspondent who is ready and able to travel overseas. Correspondents must be physically fit, able to leave the country at short notice, and able to remain abroad for an indefinite period.