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NYT Freelancer Takes Perks, History Shows Firing Imminent

Ent6634.jpgWhen the daily e-mail group 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‘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‘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)

Abrams Talks PR v. Journalism|Kitfield Wins Third Defense Reporting Prize|Google Won’t Buy A Paper|AP Offers Buyouts|A Party In Pictures

PRNewser: Dan Abrams, CEO of Abrams Research, spoke about the similarities between publicists and journalists at the Media Relations Summit earlier this week.

FishbowlDC: National Journal staffer James Kitfield won his third Gerald R. Ford Prize for Defense Reporting. In 1995, he became the first person to win the award more than once.

Financial Times: Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in an interview the company was thinking about buying a newspaper, but instead it will likely only help media companies make their Web sites better.

Editor & Publisher: The Associated Press is offering buyouts to over 200 veteran employees who are close to retirement.

Random Night Out: Pictures from last night’s Jamaican-themed party hosted by