Local reporter’s job outsourced to India

Posted on May 12, 2007 
Filed Under Uncategorized

You knew it was coming.

James Macpherson, editor and publisher of pasadenanow.com, a two-year-old site devoted to news about Pasadena, California is outsourcing a reporter’s job to India.

The job posting at craigslist states:”We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA.”

Macpherson tells AP it makes business sense now that weekly Pasadena City Council meetings can be watched over the net and because of India’s lower labor costs.

“I think it could be a significant way to increase the quality of journalism on the local level without the expense that is a major problem for local publications,” said the 51-year-old Pasadena native. “Whether you’re at a desk in Pasadena or a desk in Mumbai, you’re still just a phone call or e-mail away from the interview.”

The first articles, some of which will carry bylines, are slated to appear Friday.

Naysayer Bryan Nelson, an University of Southern California journalism professor, grumpily responded: “Nobody in their right mind would trust the reporting of people who not only don’t know the institutions but aren’t even there to witness the events and nuances.”

Well Prof Nelson, you’ve probably never seen how American journalists parachute in to Asian cities, and write scathing reports, sans “nuances”, like they’ve lived here all their lives.

This isn’t sad. It’s the reality of web journalism.

Reuters already employs over 1,000 staff in India. About 100 of the jobs are for editing and writing while the rest extract basic financial information from company news releases, analyst ratings changes, earnings tables, economic polling data and other data products for the company’s subscribers.

Since the ad came out, Macpherson has already hired two Indian reporters for US$20,800, one a graduate of the journalism school at the University of California at Berkeley.

The website, which he runs out of his house, has 45,000 unique visitors per month and up until now, his main help has consisted of his wife and an intern.



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