The belt keeps tightening around the newsroom budget of the Washington Post. Following a stretch that featured the killing of the Sunday Source and Book World, newsroom administration on Tuesday announced perhaps a bigger no-brainer: Staffers at the paper will no longer get paid extra for doing chats and blogs on washingtonpost.com.
The cost-saving edict will fall hard on newsroom vets who participate in regular chats on washingtonpost.com. The going price for such contributions is $100 per session, so a weekly chatter could expect about $5,000 in extra earnings per year. Pure gravy there–chats are done during business hours, and they often help reporters develop sources and story ideas. That the paper has paid extra for this stuff is a great tribute to its once-freewheeling approach to journalism.
To: Newsroom Staffs
From: Shirley Carswell
As we fully integrate the web and print newsrooms and reach our readers through print and online, our system of making “freelance” payments to newspaper staff for regular chats and blogs and to dot.com staff for occasional stories in the paper is no longer practical.
Effective immediately, such payments to employees of Washington Post Media will end.
For special work done on your own time, please speak to the assigning editor in advance about compensation.
If you have questions about this change, please contact your supervisor. Thanks for your understanding as we work through this integration.
In other words, don’t bother complaining.
What does this mean for the Capitals Insider blog and Tarik's online chats? Will we see less and less of Tarik's insight on Capitals?
What about Corey Masisak who just started online chats on TWT, are they going to follow WaPo?
By Frank Ahrens, Washington Post Staff Writer, Oct. 31, 2008:
The Washington Post Co. today reported an 86 percent decline in third-quarter earnings compared with the same period last year, as a significant loss at the flagship newspaper offset gains at the company's education and cable divisions.
Tarik talks with Lisa Hillary, Feb. 2, 2009