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Stringing for semi-competing newspapers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BertoltBrecht, May 14, 2008.

  1. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    I've accepted an assignment to cover a few baseball games for a sister paper and a paper about 50 miles away from the sister paper.

    Signing the standard freelance agreement, I was wondering how best to handle this. Should I give the same story, two semi-different stories — with different ledes — or two totally different stories with none of the same quotes.

    I'm leaning toward the two different ledes.
  2. lono

    lono Active Member

    Do you want to keep both gigs?

    The more you differentiate the stories, the more likely you are to keep them both in the future.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Two semi-different stories -- byline one, no byline on the other.
    You're the one who got into this -- ask yourself what happens if neither one is happy with what you did for the other and felt they should be exclusive.
  4. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    It's kind of a freak gig. But sending the same story seems ethically wrong — though, if someone from another paper asked to use my story, I don't think I'd have a problem with it.
  5. lono

    lono Active Member

    Only because it is wrong.
  6. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    One saving grace may be they are slightly different assignments. One is two straight gamers — the other is two online updates and a long wrap of the series.

    But I get what you're saying slappy — though I don't think they won't mind for a fringe playoff game — it's probably best to avoid situations like this in the future.
  7. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Very difficult to do well, and, in my opinion, you're shortchanging the first paper.

    Avoid at all costs.
  8. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    Better to sacrifice the extra $$ and recruit a competent stand in for the second gig...
  9. editorhoo

    editorhoo Member

    I have a guy who writes for me part-time who is an editor of a twice-a-week paper in a town 15 miles away. If he covers the same event for me, he writes a similiar, but different story for his edition.
  10. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Two totally different stories. No other choice.
  11. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    One piece of advice: DON'T string for two competing papers. If you're found out and you're not up front about what you're doing, you'll end up with no gig.
  12. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    I accidently let it slip, second gig didn't balk — I think they just want something in. I'll avoid the situation in the future.
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