Media Interview with Chris Holland, business reporter at the Telegraph & Argus, Bradford
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
The Telegraph & Argus is a daily newspaper in the Newsquest group serving the Bradford metropolian district in West Yorkshire, with its origins in 1868. In line with industry trends, circulation has fallen significantly over the past decade, but sales are 30,000-plus, with a total daily readership for the print version approaching 100,000. Increasingly, emphasis is being put on web news, resulting in a steady rise in exclusive hits for the T&A website at www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk.
What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering?
I am responsible for all business coverage. We usually have two business news pages a day (Mon-Fri) and also publish a 12 page monthly business supplement, for which I research and write news, features, profiles and also a comment column.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
Our main differentiation is a strong (although not exclusive) focus on all things local to the Bradford district, so geography plays a big part in whether something gets covered or not.
How do you decide the content?
Either purely local, or a strong local line on a national story drives content. A good professional submitted picture, or photo opportunity for a staff snapper also helps.
Do you pay for contributions from freelance journalists?
I do not pay freelancers for business stories.
Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
Am happy to work closely with PRs if it's a good story. Between longs stints as a newspaper journalist, I did 25 years as an in-house PR manager and consultant, so have sympathy with their role. Low staffing means we rely increasingly on PR support to source stories. But PRs should know their market. I often receive 'scattergun' releases about something of no relevance to our area.
How should a PR approach you about their client?
Best way for PRs to contact me is by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone: 01274 705355.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you, and what is your deadline for contributions?
Best time to contact me is in the morning as I'm busy writing in the afternoon.
Describe a typical day at work: What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the outlet?
My role is to research and write business news, features, profiles, etc. I'm a one-man business desk so am always busy. A typical day is searching for stories before lunch and chasing people, usually by phone, and writing in the afternoon.
What interests you most about your job?
The best part of the job is the intro it gives me to many varied and interesting people and places.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
This is my second time around at the T&A, where I previously covered business between 1976 and 1984. I returned to do this job in 2008. In between, I worked as Northern press office for the CBI; head of corporate affairs at Bradford & Bingley Building Society; PR manager at Leeds Building Society; and then for consultancies and as a freelance consultant.
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
I am on twitter, but don't think much of it so don’t spend much time doing it.