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Collaboration with distant shops

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by UPChip, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    Situation: Today is state quarterfinals day for baseball and softball.

    Our biggest prep baseball team is facing the No. 1 team in the state in the quarterfinals of the state tournament today. The game is being played 5 hours away in "Collegetown" (thanks to a scheduling quirk, against "Collegetown High"). We choose to rely on a stringer from the sports department of the local college outfit for the story. Said stringer says he can't get access to a camera. So we call the "Collegetown Times" (the area's commercial paper) to see if they wouldn't mind sending us a photo, seeing as they're covering the game anyhow. They plan on charging us $20 (ballpark figure) for the photo.

    Our most successful prep softball team is playing 5 1/2 hours away against "Podunk-Hicksville" at a neutral site 45 miles from the "Big Bend Gazette," the home paper of Podunk-Hicksville. When calling the Big Bend Gazette to exchange basic info for a preview story, the Gazette SE offers to send a story and photo before I even bother to ask. (And at the time, I wasn't.)

    The two papers are of relatively similar circulation and staff size. Neither is owned by the same company as our paper. Who do you agree with?
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    I've never worked at a shop that was charged for a photo taken by another shop. Unless you're competing with each other, it's basic decency.
  3. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Is the Collegetown Times using a photo stringer themselves? If so, $20 is not unreasonable.
  4. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    It's all about karma.
    If they try to charge you, you're probably better off just hiring a freelancer. At least that way, you can get the shot/story you want instead of getting whatever scraps they give you.
  5. I have a suggestion for the Podunk-Hicksville softball game. Offer to pay the Gazette reporter at stringer rate for a story from your team's angle. And stop bitching about the cost of these items. Sounds like you're getting off pretty cheaply on two of the biggest prep stories of the season for you.
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    When I read this, I read it as "shitty story." Perhaps not a good thing, given that's how a lot of my cash has come in recent months.
  7. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    All I was saying that is you get a story from a reporter at a different paper, and he's not getting a cut, he certainly isn't going to go out of his way to write it from your angle.
    If you hire a freelancer (which very well be that same reporter) on the side, you get something from your angle.
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Oh, no, I didn't mean that any reflection on your post; I tend to agree with your point. Rather, I just sped through it and that's what stuck out in my mind. Odd, I guess. Irrelevent, of course.

    But yeah, you'll definitely want something local, I would think. Unless it's a big deal, it's a fringe game and not a lot of people will be interested. In that case, I think the other paper's story would be fine.
  9. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Pay for photo is not unusual. Photogs have their own way of doing things. $20 is actually pretty cheap for a photo these days. Going rate around here runs at least $50. But it also depends on more factors that that. We have a good relationship with several papers and freely exchange photos and info. We know we may need their help (now or later) and they know they will need ours. Other papers may not ever see the benefit of helping you now, especially if thes title games are always at the same location.
    In Texas, except for football, all the title games are in the Austin area, and the Statesman would really have no benefit in going to shoot anything for us, even though they may be there anyway, so it would stand to reason they may charge. I'm not saying they do because we've never used them. We have an ex-employee who lives in Austin who we trust much more than them. But that's beside the point.
  10. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    It sounds as though it would have cost you $100 in mileage plus $75-$100 in payroll (which admittedly you were going to have to pay anyway) to staff it yourself, so take the $20 hit and call it a successful collaboration.

    Capitalism is not evil when done in moderation.
  11. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Especially as it's not their photo to give away. Actually, I would guess they're not, because I'm not sure they can sell a stringer's photo like that. Well, legally, anyway. I doubt it would really stop a lot of papers.
  12. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a paper with a freelance contract that doesn't give them the right to do whatever they want with stories and photos, including reselling them.
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