Saturday, May 12, 2007

Outsourcing - A wise move for journalism?

"We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA." - A job posting from

I was stunned to read that the aforementioned news site has hired two journalists in India to report about local events in a place that's more than 5,000 kms away! The editor defends his decision because the weekly Pasadena City Council meetings can be watched over the Internet and that one is "still just a phone call or e-mail away from the interview". So journalism has now been reduced to a phone call and the Internet? Whatever happened to the cardinal necessity about being there on the site, about the importance of legwork that we learnt at journalism schools and about observing a person's mannerisms? And how well can Indian journalists, even if they have studied in California (as one of the two journalists hired by has), fare in understanding the nuances of the west coast? We'll have to keep a track on the kind of reports these journalists file. More on this blog later.


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