Daily Mail, Mail On Sunday and Mail Online also have different editors…
Often people come to Featureworld to sell a story with a clear idea of which paper they want to see their story in – be it The Mail, The Sun or the Mirror.
But what they don’t realise is that for example the Mail isn’t just the Daily Mail. It includes The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online.
The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday are different newspapers – and Mail Online is different again. Each has its own editor, its own team of journalists and even its own politics.
So for example during the EU referendum we’ve had The Daily Mail urging readers to vote out, while the Mail On Sunday has urged voters to remain in Europe. This has baffled many readers commenting on Mail Online (which incidentally runs stories exclusively itself which are not in either the Daily Mail or the Mail on Sunday) who’ve not grasped while both papers share the same website, they are very different.
Other sister papers also have different views
And the Mail group is far from the only papers within the same group to show how different they are during the EU debate. The Sunday Times urged readers to Brexit while The Times said people should vote to remain. Meanwhile The Sun on Sunday and The Sun (which have different editors) are published by the same News UK – yet both Sun papers are for Brexit.
But of course these vast differences in opinion between sister papers and even their websites don’t just matter when it comes to politics.
The truth is all papers – even those within the same group – will champion different stories and treat stories differently.
As an agent selling stories to the press, I seldom find every paper wants a story. If they do they are likely to want to report it differently.
It is one of the reasons why I might place a story in The Daily Mail for example but not feel it will be quite right for the Mail On Sunday or vice versa. It is one of the issues I discuss when someone comes to Featureworld to sell their story.
And it is very important – because choosing the correct publication can make all the difference. Editors differ on how big the story is, which angle it is published on and even the payment (obviously if one paper reckons your story is front page it will earn more money…)
To confuse matters magazines have the same issues – something to beware of if you are thinking of trying to sell your story directly to one of them. For example, Take a Break, Bella and That’s Life magazines are all published by Bauer. If all three magazines want your story you will have to choose which one (your story can only appear in one mag and they can’t bid against one another.)
Interestingly IPC’s Woman and Woman’s Own are published by the same editorial team as are Chat and Pick me Up. I could go on giving even more examples. Needless to say mags too – even those with the same publisher – like different stories, appealing to different readers.
And TV isn’t immune. Take ITV’s This Morning and Good Morning Britain programmes – again they both love to feature real-life stories. But while they will often both ask for the same interviewees they will present them differently.
Indeed selling stories to the media is more complicated than interviewees ever imagine. As I’ve said time and again, it takes the knowledge of a very experienced agent to know which magazine, newspaper or TV programme will like a story best and will pay for it the most.
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