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Does your paper pay for press box food?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by The Rules of Golf, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I agree with Cosmo. The meals aren't really for the media, more the support staff and pressbox workers. Reporters get a meal as a result.
    You might be surprised that the free food question comes up at other places.
    A buddy of mine is a doctor, and he doesn't pay for lunch and most days doesn't pay for breakfast. The different reps have all those meals catered. He told me as result he saves between $300 and $400 a month
    It has filtered down to the med schools now and some of students/residents are wearing these "pharm-free" pins meaning they don't accept any freebies. The food, the gear and even pens, usually really good pens.
    The older docs are mad at the ones who are taking a pass.
  2. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    I couldn't agree with COSMO more.

    I don't get food for the pressbox thinking that I have to do a good job because the coverage in the paper depends on it. I do it because I want to take care of the people who take their time to cover (or work) the game. There is no quid pro quo.

    On the other hand, I am tired of hearing people bitch about the food. It doesn't matter how good the food is, there is always somebody who won't be happy with it. Several years ago, I had tradeout with an upscale fast food chain to provide sandwiches at events, which they did for about eight basketball games during the season. Midway through the year, the store owner delivered the food to the pressroom and started to set it out. As he was doing this, a writer walks in and starts to bitch about having, "this crap again." Two days later, the store owner called and said he would never give another free sandwich to the media again (he was willing to support other projects, just not the pressroom.) So I'm out about $2,500 in trade and the media now bitch more about the pizza and hotdogs that have filled the hole in the pregame menu.
  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Just have Notre Dame cater your halftime spread. :eek: :eek:
  4. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Pretty much all major league baseball press rooms charge for meals, and my paper reimburses me for that, even when I'm at home (probably because my paper is located about 60 miles from the ballpark, so when I'm at home I'm still sort of on the road.
  5. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    A complete right turn here, but something about the real Cristiano Ronaldo shopping at Food Lion makes me giggle like a coquettish schoolgirl.
  6. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    And veering back onto subject, everyone within 500 mles of Martinsville, Va. with a notebook and a pen must at some point in their soon-to-be-shortened lives eat a Martinsville Speedway hot dog. They're ... memorable.
  7. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Worst. Food. Ever.
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Love Martinsville Speedway. Do not love the food.
  9. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    See, memorable. If sharing Martinsville Speedway dogs in the infield media center with Monte Dutton and Tucker McLaughlin isn't enough to make you slap your thighs and yell GOD DAMN I LOVE AMERICA, then my friend, you have no soul of which to speak.
  10. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    You've got to find a way to cover Childersburg some time.
  11. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    But parking is a much bigger issue than the free food. In a lot of cases, the parking spots given to media could easily be sold for whatever the going rate is. Let's say it's $20. So if you're taking the spot, you're accepting a $20 gift from the team or school.

    I'm guessing that foil-wrapped hot dog you're passing on isn't worth quite as much.
  12. murray

    murray New Member

    You should never accept a free meal at an event you're covering. If press box workers and staff are eating the so-called "free spread," that's their business.
    We're at the game to work, not to eat free food. Naturally, we need to see the game, and so accepting a credential is necessary.
    If you want to eat, bring a sandwich. Better yet, press boxes should have concession stands (with cash registers), not lunch rooms. I'd gladly pay rather than go downstairs and stand in line.
    What some newspapers are doing now is sending a check to the school or team for an entire season's worth of staff meals. I'm guessing that they negotiate for whatever's a fair price.
    Readers are usually shocked to learn that we don't accept free food or free tickets to ball games. But I think it drives home the desired point.
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