The 150 journalists and guests who had the pleasure of vacationing last weekend in Jamaica for free were repaying their hosts/benefactors, Thrillist.com and Jetblue, with tons of tweets and Internet hype. Some would say that’s worth it’s weight in gold for the New York-based daily e-mail group, or they wouldn’t keep throwing these elaborate parties.
In fact, for most freelancing journalists, getting on Thrillist’s Director of Communications Flavie Bagnol‘s good side means invitations to nightclubs, Vegas, and even the Hamptons, all with goodie bags and free drinks.
But no good deed goes unpunished, as they say.
The first hitch of the JetMystery trip this year, in which the journalists and several contest winners were told only what to pack and what time to show up for the plane, was the injury of a Mediavest employee and six others during the last night of the stay, when an errant disco ball fell on the revelers.
Now, Newsweek is
calling its own writer out on the carpet for accepting the invitation in the first place addressing its own reporter’s involvement in the trip. After finding out that Kurt Soller had gone to Jamaica on a private company’s dime, a spokesperson for the publication reported to Jeff Bercovici, “We will be reimbursing Thrillist for the trip,” and concluded the trip was an ethical violation. Whether Soller will lose his job over the matter has not been decided. Update: A Newsweek spokesman tells FishbowlNY that Soller was given permission to go by his editor and is not at fault. No disciplinary action is warranted.
Meanwhile, The New York Times keeps flip-flopping on their position on freelance writer Mike Albo (also known as The Underminer) going on the junket. The paper initially took a more lenient approach to Albo’s participation, then later said they would be “discussing” the matter with him further.