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Sell a Story, Photo, or Video to the Press


Many thanks for using,  by submitting your story to us you are agreeing to the terms and conditions in this document.

If you have any queries or concerns then please do not hesitate to contact us on or 0117 9066 500.


What happens next, once you send us your story (or other content):


  1. Your story will be assessed by an editor to see if it is suitable for our news wire** or as an exclusive story*** (for one publication).
  2. If we think we will be able to find a publication for your story one of our journalists will contact you so they can discuss it further and write the copy. This will normally happen on the same day we receive your message, but can sometimes take more time depending the business of the newsroom.
  3. We will then put a story together and work to find the best way of publishing it.
  4. In the event that your story gets published we will contact you to let you know.

Please Note: Your safety, and the safety of those around you, is important – you must not put yourself, or anyone else, at risk by sending a story or photo to us.


You’ve sent out my story – where will it be printed?

Some of our stories are sent out as an exclusive – they go to just one publication.  In these cases we know the publication where it will appear and exactly how much you will be getting.  Some of our stories go out on the news wire** to many publications all at once, and while they can appear online almost immediately, we never know about use in print until the paper is actually published.

If your story has been sent out via the newswire, our accounts team will collect payment from each publication and you’ll be paid in one lump sum.  If the story is an exclusive, you’ll get paid either directly by the publication, or via us (depending on how the individual publisher operates). Publisher’s payment terms vary from publishing house to publishing house, but generally payments are processed eight to ten weeks after publication.

Please note that you will only be paid for national press showings. Most local newspapers have arrangements to use local content for free from the SWNS newswire (this helps to raise awareness of SWNS stories and helps to support local news outlets). We also share our pictures or video via some of our company websites: or

I’ve seen my picture bylined to a different agency, have they stolen it?

Sell Your Story* is part of a larger company (SWNS) which runs a number of different agencies in different parts of the UK. The UK agencies we run include Masons News Service, Ross Parry Agency, News Team International, Centre Press, Northscot and Capital Press. Our foreign agents include Abaca press, Scanpix, Action Press, Splash News and Northfoto.

With the emergence of online publications and social media, sometimes content and pictures does get stolen or misused; if you’re unsure, just let us know and we’ll do our best to recover fees or issue a cease and desist notice.


When will I get paid and how much will it be?

We can’t provide an exact price until we’ve sent your story idea around to the editors to see what they think – be suspicious of anyone who says they can.

As an estimate, you can expect to receive anything from £100 for volunteering as a case study, £200 from an interesting or unusual story, £500 for an interesting or unusual story that is rare or related to current news agenda, £1,000 to £5,000 for an extreme or sensitive story, and up to £10,000 for an extreme, sensitive, rare or unusual story involving a celebrity or public figure.   See our What Payment Can I Expect? page to find out more.

This is a guideline only.  Each story is judged on its own merits.

We can’t offer any guarantee as to how long your payment will take as we are often in the hands of the individual publishers (some pay instantly and some pay 10 weeks post publication), but we aim to have 95% of all payments completed within six weeks.


I’ve been contacted by a journalist from another agency what should I do?

We would ask that you direct any queries to ourselves, partly to limit the number of enquiries you have to deal with, and partly so we can help protect your best interests. If your story is being represented by more than one agency it may result in a delayed payment. In the worst case it may mean we are unable to make a payment at all.  Publications insist on exclusivity, so counter-intuitively, the more people touting your story around, the more it will drive the price down rather than up.


I’ve seen my story or picture on dozens of websites – did they all get the story from

We work with all the major news websites and often have negotiated agreed fees so we can guarantee payment from them. However, it is fair to say that the internet is a bit like the wild west when it comes to copyright. There are many websites which lift pictures, video or stories from the major news publishers with no regard to copyright.  These include ‘’ and ‘’. We have previously worked to stop this abuse of IP but this is not possible in all cases. Please be assured we will seek payment for your pictures or video wherever we can.


Can you send me a breakdown of all the sales and a copy of the invoices?

Currently we do not have the facility to offer a breakdown on all sales but we are working to achieve this in the future. We can email you details of any major sales when we process your payment. We manage and bill for hundreds of stories, pictures and videos every day on a number of different systems – as dictated by the publishers we work for. Because of the time involved in collating the data and in order to protect the confidentiality of others we make a firm rule that we don’t send out copies of our invoices.


I’d like to contribute more stories to, is that possible?

Yes, we are very grateful for the hard work of all of our contributors. We are always looking for interesting stories, pictures and video and will give an honest opinion on anything you send in. Our primary market is the main UK news publishers – the Sun, Daily Mail, Telegraph etc, as well as the weekly women’s magazine market, so we are after the type of stories and pictures that they print.


* is part of SWNS – a Limited Company with it’s head office at Media Centre, Emma Chris Way, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7JU

**Our news wire is a photo, video and copy feed supplied to all the major news publishers in the UK including but not limited to, websites, newspapers and magazines. The feed is also represented in different countries by different agents. The pictures are transmitted by a variety of means including FTP, email and via a secure online photo library. We reserve the right to distribute and promote the pictures as we see fit.

*** An exclusive story is one that has been sold exclusively to just one publication, rather than a number of publications.  Once your story has appeared exclusively it is possible to sell it on a ‘second rights basis’ or send it out to every publication via the newswire.

Many thanks for agreeing to work with SWNS.  To contact us, visit: Contact

General Website Use Terms and Conditions

Thursday, April 8th, 2010.

(1) Introduction

These terms and conditions govern your use of our website; by using our website, you accept these terms and conditions in full. If you disagree with these terms and conditions or any part of these terms and conditions, you must not use our website.

(2) Licence to use website

Unless otherwise stated, we or our licensors own the intellectual property rights in the website and material on the website. Subject to the licence below, all these intellectual property rights are reserved.
You may view, download for caching purposes only, and print pages from the website for your own personal use, subject to the restrictions set out below and elsewhere in these terms and conditions.
You must not:
(a) republish material from this website (including republication on another website);
(b) sell, rent or sub-license material from the website;
(c) show any material from the website in public;
(d) reproduce, duplicate, copy or otherwise exploit material on our website for a commercial purpose;
(e) edit or otherwise modify any material on the website;
(f) redistribute material from this website except for content specifically and expressly made available for redistribution

(3) Acceptable use

You must not use our website in any way that causes, or may cause, damage to the website or impairment of the availability or accessibility of the website; or in any way which is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful, or in connection with any unlawful, illegal, fraudulent or harmful purpose or activity.
You must not use our website to copy, store, host, transmit, send, use, publish or distribute any material which consists of (or is linked to) any spyware, computer virus, Trojan horse, worm, keystroke logger, rootkit or other malicious computer software.
You must not conduct any systematic or automated data collection activities (including without limitation scraping, data mining, data extraction and data harvesting) on or in relation to our website without our express written consent.
You must not use our website for any purposes related to marketing without our express written consent.

(4) Restricted access

Access to certain areas of our website is restricted. We reserve the right to restrict access to areas of our website, or indeed our whole website, at our discretion.
If we provide you with a user ID and password to enable you to access restricted areas of our website or other content or services, you must ensure that that user ID and password is kept confidential.
We may disable your user ID and password in our sole discretion without notice or explanation.

(5) User generated content

In these terms and conditions, “your user content” means material (including without limitation text, images, audio material, video material and audio-visual material) that you submit to our website, for whatever purpose.
You grant to us a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your user content in any existing or future media. You also grant to us the right to sub-license these rights, and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.
Your user content must not be illegal or unlawful, must not infringe any third party’s legal rights, and must not be capable of giving rise to legal action whether against you or us or a third party (in each case under any applicable law).
You must not submit any user content to the website that is or has ever been the subject of any threatened or actual legal proceedings or other similar complaint.
We reserve the right to edit or remove any material submitted to our website, or stored on our servers, or hosted or published upon our website.
Notwithstanding our rights under these terms and conditions in relation to user content, we do not undertake to monitor the submission of such content to, or the publication of such content on, our website.

(6) Limited warranties

Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information on this website (excluding user content) is correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy; nor do we commit to ensuring that the website remains available or that the material on the website is kept up-to-date.
To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law we exclude all representations, warranties and conditions relating to this website and the use of this website (including, without limitation, any warranties implied by law of satisfactory quality, fitness for purpose and/or the use of reasonable care and skill).

(7) Limitations of liability

Nothing in these terms and conditions (or elsewhere on our website) will exclude or limit our liability for fraud, for death or personal injury caused by our negligence, or for any other liability which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.
Subject to this, our liability to you in relation to the use of our website or under or in connection with these terms and conditions, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, will be limited as follows:
(a) to the extent that the website and the information and services on the website are provided free-of-charge, we will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature;
(b) we will not be liable for any consequential, indirect or special loss or damage;
(c) we will not be liable for any loss of profit, income, revenue, anticipated savings, contracts, business, goodwill, reputation, data, or information;
(d) we will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of any event or events beyond our reasonable control;
(e) our maximum liability in relation to any event or series of related events will be limited to £5 million GBP.
(7.1) Third party content sometimes uses third party sources to generate content, whilst every effort is made to ensure the availability and accuracy of third party content, shall not be made liable for any loss or damages suffered by any party using third party content displayed on this website to the fullest extent that may exclude or limit such liability.
(7.2) Circumstances beyond reasonable control
In any event, will not be liable to you for any failures, interruptions, delays or other matters of a similar nature arising out of circumstances beyond its reasonable control.
(7.3) Links to other sites and resources
Where this Site contains links to other sites and resources, which are provided by third parties, these links and resources are provided for your information only and you access them at your own risk. We are not liable or responsible for the content of third party sites or resources.

(8) Indemnity

You hereby indemnify and hold harmless and undertake to keep us indemnified against any losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including without limitation legal expenses and any amounts paid by us to a third party in settlement of a claim or dispute on the advice of our legal advisers) incurred or suffered by us arising out of any breach by you of any provision of these terms and conditions or arising out of any claim that you have breached any provision of these terms and conditions

(9) Breaches of these terms and conditions

Without prejudice to our other rights under these terms and conditions, if you breach these terms and conditions in any way, we may take such action as we deem appropriate to deal with the breach, including suspending your access to the website, prohibiting you from accessing the website, blocking computers using your IP address from accessing the website, contacting your internet service provider to request that they block your access to the website and/or bringing court proceedings against you.

(10) Variation

We may revise these terms and conditions from time-to-time. Revised terms and conditions will apply to the use of our website from the date of the publication of the revised terms and conditions on our website. Please check this page regularly to ensure you are familiar with the current version.

(11) Assignment

We may transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with our rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions without notifying you or obtaining your consent.
You may not transfer, sub-contract or otherwise deal with your rights and/or obligations under these terms and conditions.

(12) Severability

If a provision of these terms and conditions is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other provisions will continue in effect. If any unlawful and/or unenforceable provision would be lawful or enforceable if part of it were deleted, that part will be deemed to be deleted, and the rest of the provision will continue in effect.

(13) Exclusion of third party rights

These terms and conditions are for the benefit of you and us, and are not intended to benefit any third party or be enforceable by any third party. The exercise of our and your rights in relation to these terms and conditions is not subject to the consent of any third party.

(14) Entire agreement

These terms and conditions constitute the entire agreement between you and us in relation to your use of our website, and supersede all previous agreements in respect of your use of this website.

(15) Law and jurisdiction

These terms and conditions will be governed by and construed in accordance with English law, and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

(16) Registrations and authorisations

We subscribe to the following code of conduct: The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) This code can be consulted electronically at

(17) Our details

The full name of our company is South West News Service Ltd trading as
We are registered in England & Wales under registration number 6561578
Our registered address is Media Centre, Emma-Chris Way, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7JU, UK
You can contact us by email at or you can view more information about SWNS at the About SWNS page. You can also see the other ways to contact us at the Contact SWNS page.

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