Like many daily newspapers around the country, the Rocky Mountain News has said farewell to loads o' staffers who've left on their own or taken buyouts to go away. Nevertheless, editors still need writers to fill the pesky blank spots between ads that occasionally pop up on pages -- and copy borrowed from publications such as the Colorado Springs Gazette can't plug all those holes. That's why the paper is offering to give those who remain on the payroll restaurant gift cards if they recommend competent freelancers -- the sort of scribes who may one day replace them, too.
Here's the memo describing the deal:
From: Hanner, Carol Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 9:48 AM To: RMN Editorial Group Subject: free money
Well, it's not cash, but you can win a $50 gift card for local restaurants. All you have to do is help us find freelancer writers who can make all of our lives better by helping us out now and then on breaking news or news or sports features. Our rates vary from $50 to $150 for breaking news and $150 to $250 for features, depending on what's involved.
We're also interested in photo freelancers, who can make $50 for a photo submitted with a story, $100 to $150 for a photo generated for the Rocky or $250 for a day rate.
If you send me a name of a freelancer we've never used and we get at least one publishable story from your reference, you'll get a gift card good for your choice of Maggiano's, Chili's, Macaroni Grill or On the Border.
So send me names and phone numbers!
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What a delicious way to make fulltime newspaper reporters obsolete! -- Michael Roberts