The Decline of Journalism/Outsourcing Everywhere
Pham, Alex. 2007. “Local News Reporting Outsourced to India.” Los Angeles Times (11 May).
“James Macpherson, editor and publisher of the Pasadena Now website, hired two reporters last weekend to cover the Pasadena City Council. One lives in Mumbai and will be paid $12,000 a year. The other will work in Bangalore for $7,200. The council broadcasts its meetings on the Web. From nearly 9,000 miles away, the outsourced journalists plan to watch, then write their stories while their boss sleeps — India is 12.5 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.”“So, on the Indian version of Craigslist, he posted an ad that said in part, “We do not believe that geographic distance between California and India will present unsurmountable problems, and that working together with you will result in your development of a keen working knowledge of this city’s affairs”.”
“One of the two chosen had attended the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Rob Gunnison, the director of school affairs there, is dismayed. “It just seems so fundamental to journalism to be there,” Gunnison said. “I still can’t quite believe it’s not a hoax”.”
“Macpherson plans to hire half a dozen more Indian reporters. He’ll add some local flavor by doing interviews, then e-mailing the recordings to India. “When you instant-message someone in Mumbai, it’s like looking over her shoulder,” he said.”