What’s the best bonus you’ve ever gotten as a journalist?

Assuming you’ve ever gotten a bonus at all (or perks, at all) as a journalist, what was the best?

On Wednesday, Erik Wemple wrote that staff at Washington City Paper will get $250 bonuses.

Before Washington City Paper* published its annual “Best Of” issue in April, it set what Publisher Amy Austin called an “uber goal” for advertising — a “goal that was above the goal,” says Austin. If sales reached that level, Austin declared, editorial staffers at the paper would receive a bonus in May.

City Paper’s Mike Madden told Wemple that in 15 years of journalism, the quarter-thou was the “first bonus I can definitely recall getting myself.”

After reading the story, my editor, Andrew Beaujon, tweeted about a bonus he remembered, and a few other journalists shared theirs, too.

I think I got $100 bonus when I worked at the St. Joseph News-Press and won a writing award. That was actually cool because the writing award came with $1,000 check.

So what’s the best bonus you’ve ever received? Email me: khare@poynter.org, or find me on Twitter, @kristenhare.

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  • wind_user

    At the Ellensburg (Wash.) Daily Record in the early/mid 1980s, management brought large grocery sacks full of apples into the office and put them on the front counter the last workday before Christmas. We all joked about it — especially the city editor who explained what was going on as we newcomers watched in confusion — but the gift did carry some weight.

    During the rest of the year, that same front counter was a gathering spot for non-subscribers who awaited the press run every day shortly after noon. If they had subscribed, they would have had to wait an extra two or three hours for their newspapers.

  • sargeh

    During my 32 years at the Mpls StarTribune the staff got quite a few bonuses and several individual ones too. The thing that disgusted me was that the Guild would insist on voting whether to accept bonuses. I guess the leadership thrived on tension.

  • AndreaLeane

    We usually get Christmas bonuses. In recent years the pay raises are on hold, but the employees who have been at the paper more than a year have still received Christmas bonuses. It’s not a huge amount but it’s a nice appreciation present to get, for sure! The longer you’ve been here, the more you receive, of course.

  • Angele

    Ha. That best “bonus” I ever got as a journalist was a station coffee cup. No kidding.

  • ripleycal

    When I was a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal, we each got a lovely chocolate Santa for Christmas. When I was a reporter at the Los Angeles Daily News, I believe we got an hour off at the end of the year to buy ourselves our own drinks at a bar one time. At the Los Angeles Times, where I was also a reporter, we had a nice potluck lunch in our section of the paper around the end of the year; we only had to supply one dish each! Since I left the newspaper business, I’ve received thousands of dollars of bonuses from various employers over the years, but none with the warm sentiment of those year-end thank yous I received from my newspaper employers.