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Will the New York Post entice local freelancer to 'go out to a house in Eden Prairie'?

6 p.m. Saturday update: The Post still hasn't found anyone. And yes, the assignment is camping outside Brett Favre's house.

Strictly because they've relentlessly messed with the Twins, I will pass along this pleasant little Saturday karmic event involving the New York Post.

My inbox, 8:52 a.m.:

Will Minnesota freelancers have the last laugh?
Will Minnesota freelancers have the last laugh?

I'm a reporter for the New York Post. We need a freelancer to go out to a house in Eden Prairie and interview someone today, Saturday, for a Sunday story. The pay is around $200. Please call me ASAP at 347-XXX-XXXX if you're interested. 

Thanks,
Sarah Ryley

10:22: a.m.:

I'm the reporter for the Post. We already found someone for the assignment. Please no calls. thanks! 

10:42 a.m.:

The other reporter backed out. If you're available, please call me.

So far, it seems no Minnesota freelancer is willing to accept 200 clams to, almost certainly, ring Brett Favre's doorbell. (Note to sexting-coverage addicts: not speaking metaphorically here.) The Post, by the way, emailed every single MinnPost reporter, which indicates true desperation.

Which Minnesota newsie will descend into the pit of slime? Will it cost more than $200? We might not be the "EZ-PASSes" the Twins are!

All I can say is, stay tuned, or check the bylines in tomorrow's NYPost.com.

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Comments (10)

Not being a journalist, is this SOP? Or is this just another case of the Post (and other Murdoch-owned outlets) doing a typical sleaze-job? It's as if "Page 6" doesn't have enough crap to write about...

I was a bit surprised when I read that Favre and his wife are big supporters of their democrat congressman down there in Mississippi. Now it all makes sense.

Certainly puts a new spin on an old 'proverb'..."Knock, knock ; who's there...?"

Yes, even the jazz writer got this email--desperate indeed!

Favre has brought new meaning to "Pants on the ground."

You can't just "go out to a house in Eden Prairie" and ring the doorbell when the house is in Bearpath. It's gated and guardhoused. If you ain't on the list, you ain't gettin' in. That's probably why the first reporter "backed out."

BTW: This is certainly not standard operating procedure with any newspaper I've worked for, as a staffer or freelancer. I don't know how the supermarket rags do it. Anyone who does take this gig out ought to ask for $300 or $400 a day, since they're clearly desperate and too cheap to fly somebody out here. Everything's negotiable.

As a former freelancer, the NY Post rate is way off for such a story request. What the Post is offering cheap spec[speculation] rates for a run-of-the-mill news feature. This national news story by no means is run-of-the-mill!

First of all, I would definitely charge a minimum day rate [for MN] of $500-$750 "plus expenses" including hazard/medical charges! Then if contact was made and, by chance, I got a basic interview, if I wasn't tar-&-feathered, there would be an additional fee.--A fee determined by how much info I received, how important it was, and the deadline urgency.

All these "shoe-leather" fees would be agreed upon before I rolled out for this story. My physical well being and reputation would be at stake since the NY Post's tabloid style and news reputation would affect my local media standing. My garnered information would have to be unimpeachable and rock solid.

If the Post agreed to "all" my fee bids and requirements only then would I decide to go into the proverbial lions den. Maybe, the Post should send one of their own reporters to Minnesota it might be cheaper for them.

Two hundred [$200] bucks for a house watch and scandalous muck raking interview with Brett Favre is the Post being realistic? That's not even paparazzo rates! This local freelancer would rather go fishing while the weather' good. Dicey scandals are not my journalistic cup of tea!

I spent a week parked outside a house in St. Cloud for the Post a few years ago. Never did an interview or wrote a single word as the folks I was looking for were in hiding, but I was in college, broke and therefore glad to work.

To answer Andy's question, I think this is SOP for the Post and probably no one else (although the NY Daily News sent reporters for a day or two).

Just to clarify an earlier half-truth: Favre and his wife have donated to BOTH Democrat and Republican candidates, not that it has any relevance to the issue.