Friday, May 11, 2007

Outsourcing news

James Macpherson, the editor and publisher of Pasadena Now has hired two reporters from India to cover the Pasadena City Council. The meetings are broadcast on the internet and the reporters will watch the meetings online and then write their articles. One of the benefits he cited of having the reporters cover the meetings is that they often run late into the night. Because of the time change, the reporters in India will be able to watch the meetings and work on their articles while the rest of the staff in Pasadena can go to bed. The editors will be able to come back in the morning and have the articles ready to go.

I think this is absolutely ridiculous! One of the most important things reporters need to be is very familiar with the area they are covering. We talked about this in class last week--the first thing you need to do when you get a job is go out and get to know the place you are covering. That's going to be a little impossible for these guys in India.

True--they can watch the meetings and write about them--but they won't know the implications of what they are writing about. They don't know the intricacies of the town. They probably have no idea how decisions will effect the people in the town.

I really hope this isn't the beginning of a trend of outsourcing! This really does not fit in with the trend toward hyperlocal news either!


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