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Michael Davis
02-11-2014, 12:00 AM
Question - when a small local newspaper breaks a story that goes national, how are the compensated. Say a reporter for a town magazine writes a series of articles on a local event that are printed in that mag. How would the local source be paid (or would they) if it were reprinted inside a national news source (like USA Today). Also, what do they call that process when local stories are picked up nationally.

Thanks.

Christabelle
02-11-2014, 12:13 AM
If you're on the AP wire or something similar, stories can get syndicated by national publications. Unfortunately, I've never had one of my stories picked up by a national news source, but I would assume that compensation would be in terms of a freelancer's pay or a certain amount per story or series. If it's not through a networked source, ethically they'd probably contact the publisher and ask permission to run the story. There may or may not be a deal for compensation.

I've only been picked up by other local pubs, and they don't really pay. It's nice to get a by-line or photo credit elsewhere from time to time though. :)

cornflake
02-11-2014, 12:16 AM
Question - when a small local newspaper breaks a story that goes national, how are the compensated. Say a reporter for a town magazine writes a series of articles on a local event that are printed in that mag. How would the local source be paid (or would they) if it were reprinted inside a national news source (like USA Today). Also, what do they call that process when local stories are picked up nationally.

Thanks.

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, as there are several possibilities here.

If you mean a local paper prints something and a national magazine writes a story about the same thing well, there's nothing to compensate. The mag's reporter does his or her own work.

If a local story is reprinted full bore, it depends on how - a story distributed on a wire is paid for by the wire subscription.

If a national pub wants to reprint something not distributed by a wire service, just gets wind of something and wants it, they'd likely contact the publication, which likely owns the rights, and pay them for said right to reprint. There may be something else going on, depending on what the writer's agreement was - whether a staff writer or freelancer or columnist but the only way I can think it likely doesn't go back to the pub is a syndicated column, which would go back to the syndicator and it's likely in more than one local pub to begin with.

Trebor1415
02-11-2014, 12:22 AM
Question - when a small local newspaper breaks a story that goes national, how are the compensated. Say a reporter for a town magazine writes a series of articles on a local event that are printed in that mag. How would the local source be paid (or would they) if it were reprinted inside a national news source (like USA Today). Also, what do they call that process when local stories are picked up nationally.

Thanks.

The local reporter is paid by his employer.

If the newspaper is an Associated Press member the AP does NOT pay to use the material. The AP almost always rewrites the submitted article for redistribution to other AP member newspapers.

The AP then distributes the rewritten story to all the member newspapers. There is no additional payment made to the original paper or the original writer.

In the vast majority of cases the original story will not be reprinted, but will be rewritten and redistributed by the AP.

If the local newspaper's competitors want to cover the story they'll simply do their own reporting (including ripping off some stuff from the original story. That's common) and run their own versions of the stories.

The short answer is: The local newspaper, and the local reporter, don't receive any extra compensation for something that "goes national." The reward is in increased circulation (hopefully) and possibly, (but not always likely) a small bonus for the reporter or, more likely, just a "Atta boy."

EDIT: To clarify, even if the AP does not rewrite the story, and sends it out to member papers/magazines "as written", the original paper and writer does not receive any compensation.

Trebor1415
02-11-2014, 12:27 AM
Let me ask some questions to clarify as well:

Do you need the original reporter to receive extra financial compensation for the story for your plot to work?

If so, have him not be a staff writer, but an outside columnist who self-syndicates his work. Then he owns the Copyright and can resell the story to other newspapers/magazines. The only problem is, for a news story, those other sources will simply do their own reporting and not buy his version.

Typically, the only reason the exact original work would be widely redistributed would be if it was an opinion piece/essay and was so well written that other sources wanted to reprint it. That's not going to work for a hard news story. In that case the facts are what are important, not the particular words the first writer used to explain those facts.

Williebee
02-11-2014, 12:33 AM
I had a story picked up back in 1980 (?) for a story about a lady that gave birth on a stuck elevator. I got nothing. We were an AP member. AP got my little story. We got and used dozens of stories every week.

No idea how it works now, sorry.

Michael Davis
02-11-2014, 12:57 AM
Its for a novel where the reporter works full time (not free lance) for a local weekly magazine in a small rural county in VA. I get the feel from responses there's no extra compensation, just the extra exposure to the paper. I wanted the mag to gain compensation from the reporters work beyond normal local circulation but guess that's not the way it works.

Thanks everyone.

Trebor1415
02-11-2014, 01:31 AM
Its for a novel where the reporter works full time (not free lance) for a local weekly magazine in a small rural county in VA. I get the feel from responses there's no extra compensation, just the extra exposure to the paper. I wanted the mag to gain compensation from the reporters work beyond normal local circulation but guess that's not the way it works.

Thanks everyone.


Just FYI, the economics of weekly newspapers and magazines means there are very few full time employees. The editors and layout people might be full time, but the reporters are going to be freelance. For a weekly a full-time paid reporter just isn't going to produce enough to be worth the expense.

This is especially true in a "small rural county" which implies "small market" which implies "small circulation" which implies "smaller ad revenues."

Any "full time reporter" is probably going to be the owner and he'll do reporting in addition to other work.

Michael Davis
02-11-2014, 07:35 PM
Thanks Trebor. In this case it works cause the mag is only part of he services provides by the company. Modeled after a local mag and a reporter that's full time but works across several services. Thanks for input.

melindamusil
02-11-2014, 11:48 PM
Its for a novel where the reporter works full time (not free lance) for a local weekly magazine in a small rural county in VA. I get the feel from responses there's no extra compensation, just the extra exposure to the paper. I wanted the mag to gain compensation from the reporters work beyond normal local circulation but guess that's not the way it works.

Thanks everyone.

Two thoughts:
First, could she be a contract employee? I don't know how common this is in the newspaper world, but I know in other industries (specifically technology), it's often cheaper to hire contract employees because they don't have to give them benefits. I've heard of contracts like this that last as long as two or three years.

Second, is it possible that your mag doesn't subscribe to the AP or any similar wire? Or the story is picked up by another mag that doesn't subscribe the AP or a similar wire? I'm not sure how common this is, but if a newspaper or magazine doesn't get a story through a wire, then they'd have to pay whoever owns the copyright, right?

StephanieFox
02-12-2014, 04:39 AM
I do freelance reporting with a publication that has an agreement with a number of small, local ethnic papers. The publications can share anything that has appeared in one of the other papers. I'll pick up another paper and see my article but beside a byline, I get nothing. Sometimes publications will simply steal my story and then I get nothing. Even if I found it, it would be too expensive for me to personally go after anyone, so I'm stuck. Some publications give me ownership of articles and others contract with me to keep the copyright on anything I sell them.

WeaselFire
02-12-2014, 07:32 AM
If it helps, I got five bucks for my story going national. The paper had a weekly "Good Job" award and the week was apparently slow. :)

I blew my five bucks on Coke and pickled sausage at the local bar we all went to. It seemed cool at the time.

Crap. Now I'm jonesing for a pickled sausage.

Jeff

WeaselFire
02-12-2014, 07:36 AM
Two thoughts:
No on both. Nobody hires a contract when they have freelance workers. And not being an AP subscriber means no national news and no fillers. Long ago you had AP, UPI, Reuters and a dozen others. Now it's pretty much just AP unless you do a lot of financial reporting.

I worked as a UPI stringer a couple of times (dated my newspaper career there...) and it's tough work. But it got me into events and locations that were helpful in other ways.

Jeff

Trebor1415
02-12-2014, 09:01 AM
Back when I worked as a reporter many of the reporters and photographers I knew had a love/hate thing with the AP.

You have to realize that the Copyright for whatever we wrote (or photographed) was owned by our employers. While it was nice to see your work picked up the AP, it was frustrating that we didn't get anything extra for it.

This was especially true for photographers. There's a famous example from a photo taken at the Superbowl 10 years ago or so. Sports Illustrated Magazine is an AP member, which means they can use AP images, and their post Superbowl cover was an image taken by newspaper photographer (AP member paper) and uploaded to the AP. Normally Sports Illustrated pays very well for a cover photo, but in this case they didn't have to pay anything and the photographer got nothing but a credit. (And his base pay, of course, for being at the event).

melindamusil
02-13-2014, 01:17 AM
No on both.



Thanks Jeff!