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Coupon craze and citizen journalists | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard that in addition to the fine news the Mirror provides, the newspaper is also stuffed with great coupons. I generally only read your online version for the news, but how can I get my hands on those coupons every week?
A: You are correct. In fact, the coupon inserts are so highly coveted our publisher has limited the amount one person can purchase to 20 newspapers. Mr. Federal Way has seen droves of professional couponers file through the Mirror’s office on any given Friday to get their hands on the week’s deals.
Several of the regulars have confessed to Mirror staff that they use private Facebook groups, Instagram and various blogs to track which items are on sale that can be matched up with current coupons to maximize savings.
For example, if a tasty snack item is on sale for $1 at the grocery store and one of our inserts includes a coupon for $1 off that tasty snack item, the item becomes free. Frozen vegetables, paper towels, deodorant, shower gel, soap and lunch snacks are among the items Mr. Federal Way has heard these bargain hunters stockpile at no cost.
Mr. Federal Way once used a fistful of $1 off coupons when his favorite BBQ sauce was on sale, which reduced the price of each bottle to 25 cents. Although it was quite a rush, you won’t find Mr. Federal Way toting a baseball card organizer full of coupons around the grocery store.
Mr. Federal Way leaves the deal seeking and regular grocery shopping to Mrs. Federal Way. Mr. Federal Way hasn’t even figured out how to set up a Facebook profile yet, so private groups, tweets, hoots and snaps are pretty much out of the question.
If you are thinking of joining the couponing craze, Mr. Federal Way recommends dropping by the Mirror office on a Friday afternoon and investing in a stack of newspapers.
The papers usually arrive by 2 p.m. and the super charming staff member at the front desk will happily take your cash in exchange for a bundle of bargain laden newspapers. The cost is 75 cents per paper and well worth it if you are into saving money, stockpiling or excessive showering.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I saw the Mirror staff got shiny new press pass badges. What sparked this after years of no badges?
A: Although Mr. Federal Way is still waiting for his badge (hint, hint Rudi Alcott), Mr. Federal Way has seen the newly laminated photo identification tags and they are quite the bees knees.
It’s often a misconception that reporters, editors and the rest of those with the media are no more privileged than your average citizen journalist or photographer.
But typical reporters these days are required to earn their bachelor’s degrees in communications and undergo countless hours of free labor, also known as internships that provide credit, to be hired.
Listen, reporters and editors can’t be everywhere at once, which is why the community’s help in taking photos is so important. However, if at any point in time photographers or contributing writers try to pass off that they’re with the newspaper (and not really contributing to it), it can have serious ramifications if something were to go wrong.
Sound Publishing, Inc. is a fairly large company that backs the Mirror and employees are held to a high standard. In turn, we’ve got lawyers to protect us against potential lawsuits.
Citizen journalists and photographers don’t always know the rules when it comes to liability or privacy laws. Heck, often Mr. Federal Way has to look those up in his big-book-of-everything. It’s a fine line.
Just know as a community, you have the right to ask where a photo or piece of information may be published.
Q: Mr. Federal Way, I heard that someone took your photo at the recent Salmon Bake event and it made it in the slideshow on the Mirror’s website.
A: None of your business.
Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email email@example.com