Thursday, 28 February 2008

In this day of media conglomerates, it is refreshing to see a one-man independent Internet news agency catering to print and broadcast outlets in the GTA, the U.S. and beyond.

Pat Conroy's is based in the Barrie area and buyers of his freelance stories, photographs and video footage have included the Toronto Sun, the Star, the Globe, the Post, CFTO, 680 news etc.

Pat's Internet news agency was ahead of its time when launched in 2002 and he is still training news outlets to adapt to 21st century technology. CFTO was among the first to download video footage from his web site and commented on the ease of doing business.

Media outlets visit, check out available stories and arrange the purchase of content online. Pat launched the service with stories and photographs and expanded to video two years ago.

The video camera was handed down from his father, Pat Conroy Sr., a veteran newsman who freelanced for papers in Ireland for decades before retiring a few years ago.

Pat Jr. says he has fielded calls from media across North America for news events in the past 25 years as a freelancer and his Internet news agency is widening his audience.

The Sun and Star have cut back on the use of freelancers, but Pat says when a freelancer has something exclusive, it's business as usual.

"News is news," says Pat, a journalist since 1965. "All freelancers ask for is to be treated fairly by the media."

Pat says he has covered it all - from wild animals escaping from zoos to multiple murders.

In the Barrie area, Highway 400 has a life of its own as a news source year round, with winter pileups, wrong-way drivers and other newsworthy happenings.

Technology has taken Pat's freelancing from telephone calls and car trips to news outlets for delivery of film and video to full electronic Internet transfers.

An innovative David providing news for the media giants.

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