A trainee reporter on the Medway Messenger landed a face-to-face interview with the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto.
Luke Hollands, who is four months into his job at the paper, talked to Bhutto about her plans for a power-sharing deal with President Pervez Musharraf, a week before the national media covered the story.
Bhutto had given a talk in Rochester as a guest of Medway Conservative councillor Reh Chishti; a former political adviser to the Pakistani politician.
Luke said: “It’s not often that you get to interview a world statesman on a local paper, so when I was asked to report on Benazir Bhutto’s visit to Medway I jumped at the chance.
“It was a thoroughly interesting interview and I was extremely impressed at the ease with which she answered my questions. She is a very intelligent woman with a vast wealth of knowledge.
“Local papers are often thought of as parochial, but in this case I was able to unveil Ms Bhutto’s plans of returning to Pakistan at least a week before the national media. This proves yet again that the local press is often first at breaking national, or even global, stories.”