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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Albo’

Mike Albo One-Man Show Revisits ‘Crassest Junket Ever’

Mike Albo is certainly making the most of being fired from the New York Times. The one-time “Critical Shopper” columnist turned his ouster into the 2011 eBook The Junket and has now expanded those musings into a one-man show of the same name.

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The Junket opened this past weekend at Dixon Place and runs for the next two Friday/Saturdays. There’s no better primer for the show than this Q&A conducted by The Slant. Albo starts off by describing the titular junket that got him into trouble with the NYT:

“It was the crassest junket ever,” he laughed in a recent interview with The Slant, rattling off the trip’s corporate sponsors — Trojan Condoms, Cold-Eeze, Pom Wonderful, H&M, Starbucks and Gillette!

“The bukaki of a junket,” he joked.

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Virginia Heffernan Leaves The New York Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren took another step toward putting his stamp on the publication by parting ways with columnist Virginia Heffernan.  Originating on nytimes.com in 2006, Heffernan’s web-themed column “The Medium” will no longer appear in Lindgren’s mag.  “The Medium” transitioned over to NYT Magazine in June 2009 and showcased digital stories including top viral videos and popular mobile device apps.

Heffernan represents the most recent departure in a string of staffers that have parted ways with the magazine since Lindgren’s entrance in late October.  Alex Star vacated his post as deputy editor in December and now works with the Times Book Review.

Prior to joining The New York Times, Heffernan served as a television critic for Slate and co-authored The Underminer with Mike Albo.

NYT Defends Blurry Ethical Territory, Takes Swipe At Bloggers

111new_york_times_building.jpgThe New York Times has had a hell of a time in the last six months trying to determine just exactly how much freedom to allot to their freelance (or non-staff) writers. And the latest public editor column makes it clear that the newspaper is not interested in bending its rigid ethics rules for anyone.

A few months ago, there was a controversy surrounding Mike Albo, a Times freelancer who went on a Thrillist junket to Jamaica and, even though he didn’t write about it for the Times, was fired for accepting the free trip. Then there was Mary Tripsas who had her flight (and room and board) paid for by 3M as she checked out the company’s innovation center. She later wrote about it in her New York Times column “Prototype” and gave it glowing reviews. She has been asked to leave the Times.

And apparently there is a third, more recent case of Joshua Robinson, who sought free trips from airlines pitched stories to airline magazines in exchange for airline tickets, while describing himself as a Times reporter even though he wasn’t working on a project for the paper. (Editor’s Note: To be fair, what freelancer wouldn’t boast about those Times clips on his resume?)

So why, Times public editor Clark Hoyt asked, should these writers be punished? Why should freelancers be held to the same ethical standards as the people who get health insurance, benefits and secure employment? After all, is it worth writing for a prestigious institution if there are no perks to be had?

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NYT Freelancer Takes Perks, History Shows Firing Imminent

Ent6634.jpgWhen the daily e-mail group Thrillist.com held its JetBlue Mystery vacation for 150 journalists and contest winners in October, it raised a huge stink with publications who claimed that having their writers Tweeting about a free trip to Jamaica constituted an ethical violation. Most infamously, Mike Albo was fired from his freelancing gig at The New York Times following the incident.

So if the Gray Lady is taking the stance that even non-full-time employees can’t take gratis perks and write about them (even on their own personal blogs, Facebook accounts, etc.) then it should be a no-brainer that Mary Tripsas, who writes for the Times‘ “Prototype” column, should fall under the same disciplinary measures for writing about 3M Company’s “innovation center.” She penned a column about the center for the Times after being given a free trip (including room and board) for the official tour. But Tripsas is pleading “not guilty.”

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NYT Freelancer Loses Gig Over Thrillist’s Jamaica Trip

30_34_mikealbo_i.jpgLast week we ran an article that incorrectly speculated that Newsweek‘s ethics issue with Thrillist.com‘s Jamaica Junket for over 100 members of the press would force them to take repercussions against Kurt Soller, a staff writer who took up the invitation. Newsweek contacted us and said Soller was not the issue: He had been given permission by his editor, though the publication still planned to reimburse Thrillist for the trip. No actions were to be taken against Soller.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Mike Albo of The New York Times (also known as the bitingly funny The Underminer), who freelances for the Times as The Critical Shopper. He was fired yesterday after a week-long debate over whether the nature of his taking the trip’s freebies constituted an ethical violation. As Albo told NYMag.com‘s Daily Intel gamely:

“I look forward to trying on cashmere sweaters I can’t afford for other publications.”

Thrillist Junket Fallout: Times Freelancer Mike Albo Fired –Daily Intel

Earlier: Newsweek Calls Thrillist-Tripping Journos on Ethics Violations

(Photo via Brooklyn Paper)

Newsweek Calls Thrillist-Tripping Journos on Ethics Violations

JMLogoSquare.jpgThe 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.

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