Saturday, September 20, 2008

So do I get paid any extra?

One of the interesting things about the growing consolidation of the newspaper industry -- which is great for cutting costs in the industry but not so good for preserving a diversity of opinions -- is that reporters often finding themselves writing for papers they never would have worked with otherwise.

For example, last night I covered the Monterey/Half Moon Bay football game for the San Mateo Times. And, it turns out, the Monterey Herald -- yet another of the all-encompassing Media News syndicate that basically now controls all non-Hearst papers in the San Francisco Bay Area (and surroundings).

Thanks to my Times affiliation, I've had stories run in (relatively) local sister papers such as the Oakland Tribune and Palo Alto Daily News, but never have been syndicated as far as Monterey.

(When I was with the Glendale News-Press, I often got into the local sections of the Los Angeles Times before the News-Press was outright sucked into the LA Times after I left. And I'm not counting one-off stories I've done straight for papers like the Santa Cruz Sentinel and the Visalia Times-Delta when their teams have come out here.)

The game itself was decent -- three weeks into the season and I haven't had a bad game yet. One thing of note was that in the San Mateo Times, my story -- heavily cut for space -- just led the weekly roundup of "minor" games. But in the Herald, my story ran complete as a stand alone.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when I submit my invoice to the paper, as stringers such as myself get one rate for "roundup" stories and another, slightly higher rate for "standalones." I will be charging the full standalone rate for last night's work and I'm hoping that they will honor the request, despite my officially being on assignment for the Times (where it ran in the shorter form).

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