Hey Honey, Has Juniors T-Ball Score Come in From Bangalore yet?
November 30, 2008 6:09 PM   Subscribe

We should have known it was inevitable. Your local newspaper being written in India. Get ready for the outsourcing of journalism. Maureen Dowd doesn't like it.
posted by Xurando (55 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is... unexpected. To me, at least. For those of you who have read much outsourced journalism, do they not get small but telling details wrong? Is a reporter not simply constrained to write within what is expected, since they would be relying on what others have written to convey an impression of their subject?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:16 PM on November 30, 2008

... aaaaaand the newspapers' collective race to the bottom has finally donned rollerskates and one of those ACME jetpacks.
posted by adipocere at 6:19 PM on November 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

My basic question ("what") would probably be answered by reading the links, but then I would be compelled to commit either suicide or the burning down of Western Civilization.
posted by DU at 6:25 PM on November 30, 2008

Durn, I can't tell whether your comment is sincere or sarcastic, since you're also describing about 99 percent of regular old-school Western journalism there.
posted by rokusan at 6:29 PM on November 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

I checked in with one of his workers in Mysore City in southern India, 40-year-old G. Sreejayanthi, who puts together Pasadena events listings. She said she had a full-time job in India and didn’t think of herself as a journalist. “I try to do my best, which need not necessarily be correct always,” she wrote back. “Regarding Rose Bowl, my first thought was it was related to some food event but then found that is related to Sports field.”
posted by jason's_planet at 6:32 PM on November 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

People still read newspapers?

posted by Pecinpah at 6:32 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

We should start writing Indian newspapers as a countermeasure.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:35 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

We should start writing Indian newspapers as a countermeasure.

Or American ones.
posted by DU at 6:36 PM on November 30, 2008 [11 favorites]

The KPO Research Company needs to outsource for copy editors.
posted by terranova at 6:38 PM on November 30, 2008

Would anybody even be able to tell if they outsourced Maureen Dowd? Hell, "her" best columns this year have been the ones that she outsourced to other people; otherwise, her stuff reads like it was generated by some kind of computer program designed to produce maximum family-friendly snark with minimal insight--

OMG, they've already replaced her.
posted by bokane at 6:42 PM on November 30, 2008

Sometimes you have to go very very far before you discover that everything you need to thrive is in your own community back home.

Sometimes you can't skip the trip.
posted by bru at 6:49 PM on November 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

Maureen Dowd doesn't like it.

I started out being agin' it when I heard about this on NPR a few months back, but now I don't know how to feel.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:54 PM on November 30, 2008

The press has generally been on the pro-globalization bandwagon for the past 20-odd years, either because a) the capitalist class who own the press directly profit and/or b) those employed creating content by the press owners had assumed that the English language was a sufficient barrier to keep their jobs from jumping overseas.

The dang-nabbed Indian subcontinent with its 1.3 billion English speakers is something of an unexpected kink in this, innit?

My job computer programming was sent to India -- I may be productive, but a hungry team of 10 collectively working for the same wages will generally outproduce me, LOL.

I won't say it's nice to see the karmic boot now on the glib press's foot tho. Not sad, either. Just like something out of the Science Fiction I read in the 1970s I guess.
posted by troy at 6:59 PM on November 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

You can't outsource reporting on the White House ... can you?
posted by limeonaire at 7:08 PM on November 30, 2008

I used to write my own comments in Metafilter threads, but I found that outsourcing made it cheaper and gooder.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:18 PM on November 30, 2008 [13 favorites]

Outsourcing of news operations has been going on for some time.

This is a natural progression. News operations are cutting their staffs, and much of the daily news coverage has become increasingly formulaic.

So why stop with outsourcing to actual humans? Why not have software write the stories? You think I'm joking? It's already happening.

Pair that up with aggregators like Google News and you'll have robots delivering all the sort-of-relevant news you could ask for. Unfortunately, you'll have to settle for finding out who the winners are. Hope you don't need any explanations for what's going on!

Shoot, we should turn MetaFilter over to the robots too! That would class up the joint.
posted by up in the old hotel at 7:23 PM on November 30, 2008

Anything that displeases Maureen Dowd can't be all bad.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:29 PM on November 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

Eh, newspapers are a waste of effort. The same thing can be accomplished with local group blogs.
posted by delmoi at 7:33 PM on November 30, 2008

Indians can print press releases from local businesses, politicians, police, sports clubs etc just as readily as anyone else, and let's face it, most of modern "journalism" amounts to printing press releases.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:51 PM on November 30, 2008 [5 favorites]

If this means we get headlines about "hoodlums" being "nabbed", I'm all for it. I love Indian journalism-speak.

(Though the result of us outsourcing our copytasters to a site in England was comedy in itself. Who knew there were so many ways to transcribe "Sauchiehall Street"?)
posted by bonaldi at 7:53 PM on November 30, 2008

I can't believe how youse guys think this is OK. Someone who is confused about the vernacular use of the word "bowl" writing our news?

Look, I don't mind (OK, I do) all these Indians calling me to see if I want drugs or something, but let's not outsource reporting! Next up: Fire the teachers. Well-spoken Indians can teach us via via YouTube!!!
posted by kozad at 8:06 PM on November 30, 2008

Eventually the "press" will get so bad that people will again be willing to pay actual $$ to read reliable well-written and researched articles, preferably on a subscription basis. Until then- well there is no law saying that neatly written summaries of current events must be provided to us the people for free.
posted by fshgrl at 8:25 PM on November 30, 2008

The dang-nabbed Indian subcontinent with its 1.3 billion English speakers

Not exactly. Not even close, actually. According to the most recent census in India (per Wikipedia), there are about 90,000,000 English speakers, including a vast majority who speak it as a second or third language.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:34 PM on November 30, 2008

Kozad, I don't have the time to find it at the moment, but at least two years ago, I remember reading articles about how childrens' tutors had been outsourced. Why send Timmy to Kumon or Sylvan, when he can get his tutoring done by video chat with someone in India for less than half the price?
posted by Ghidorah at 8:37 PM on November 30, 2008

So why hasn't our legal profession been outsourced yet?

Why pay some Ivy League schmoe $800 an hour to pick at the bones of dead companies and steal from the pension fund when you can find someone equally skilled in India to do it for a tenth of the pay?
posted by jason's_planet at 8:37 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I recall a news article from 2004 or so where the head of Reuters said he was going to cut US staff and use Indian journalists for that. Maybe it was Bloomberg...I had clipped it for myself back when I graduated college and returned to India. I thought being a journalist would be a good career for me.
posted by anniecat at 8:40 PM on November 30, 2008

Eh, newspapers are a waste of effort. The same thing can be accomplished with local group blogs.

Actual news reporting is expensive and time-consuming. There is the development of insider sources, which can take years. There is the rummaging through of documents, which has been the source of many breaking stories, which can takes weeks of solid work. There is knowing your way through the labyrinth of public resources -- knowing who to talk to, what to request, who can expedite the process. There is the institutional memory that long-term reporters have, and access to the news morgues, many of which have yet to go online -- and the ability to quickly find what you think you remember from decades ago. There is knowing the cop who originally worked a case -- having his phone number, and having him know you when he calls, and trusting you. There is the expense of proper equipment for photojournalists. There is the fact that news doesn't happen at convenient times, but can happen any time, and local bloggers very rarely can just leave work to chase down a story. There is the cost of insurance against libel, which, if you are breaking real news stories, you are certainly going to need. There is having reporters who know libel laws to begin with, and having lawyers on retainer that are also familiar with the law here, and can be consulted when they are needed. There is the cost of editors, and fact checkers, who anyone who has worked in the business knows are vital to producing a story that reads well and contains no factual errors.

So, no, no it can't. I'm a blogger, and most of the work I do is online, so I respect the work that bloggers do. But they don't have the resouces, the time, or the money to break the really important stories
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:40 PM on November 30, 2008 [26 favorites]

Eh, newspapers are a waste of effort. The same thing can be accomplished with local group blogs.

Heh. How long do you think MetaFilter would last without newspapers to link to? Also: What Astro Zombie said.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 8:51 PM on November 30, 2008

jason's_planet, the legal profession has already been partially outsourced. You can't outsource it completely, because you still need to be admitted to the bar in the relevant jurisdiction, but eDiscovery and paper discovery outsourcing is happening. Why pay a new law school grad $50 an hour to look at hundreds of boxes of paper, only a small fraction of which is relevant, when you can pay someone in India to do it for less?

Also, radiography has increasingly been outsourced, particularly with the advent of digital Xrays and such.
posted by foodmapper at 9:08 PM on November 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

The same thing can be accomplished with local group blogs.

As someone who writes for a local group blog, I can tell you you're wrong.

I mean, yes, there are some neighborhood blogs that do a great job doing local journalism. But, unfortunately, they're rare. And as much as we laud the truly amateur journalist, the best local blog journalists have a degree in journalism, or they have a lot of experience with media organizations.

Most "amateur" "citizen" journalism is "amateur" and "citizen." Where they do excel, though, is the smaller stories that the large local media companies don't have the time or resources to cover. And, unfortunately, these big media companies have fewer and fewer people to go to school board meetings.

One other thing: Most of these group blogs you refer to pay next to nothing. And I really mean next to nothing. Even though newspapers are dying, they're still generating enough advertising revenue to pay their journalists a living wage. The group blogs are generating enough revenue to pay their writers a buck or two a post.
posted by dw at 9:09 PM on November 30, 2008

the outsourcing is not going offshore, the outsourcing is going local as citizen journalism - ordinary people with cameras and camcorders writing the news from where it happens.

outsourced news written in another country would be the epitomy of bland, no local colour at all. citizen journalism is less polished, but has the immediacy of news as it happens.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:12 PM on November 30, 2008

Of all the people who might have views on this subject, and of all the columnists who might write something about it, Maureen Dowd ranks dead last in the hierarchy of importance to me. She should stick to spewing her misandric tripe and pandering to the prejudices of bitter old spinsters and leave relevant issues to relevant journalists.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 9:13 PM on November 30, 2008

Even though ownership of American and global press outlets has been collating into the hands of a few corporations over the last couple decades, we really have Reagan to thank for a big part of this, repealing the Fairness Doctrine. When the news only needs to come from one right-wing source, there's no need to pay overeducated, left-of-right-wing locals to write it.

So what if the news comes from overseas, when it's mostly corporate misinformation and misdirection to begin with? And a lot of Americans have very little regard for paying for a basic public education for their kids. Those unions are socialist. For that matter, in general, most Americans seem happy with third-world literacy rates. So other than the latest sports and celebrity gossip, who really gives a shit that the local pharmaceutical company dumped a few tons of carcinogens into the town's river last weekend?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:19 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The same thing can be accomplished with local group blogs.

I'm just piling on here really.
posted by Wolof at 10:44 PM on November 30, 2008

So, no, no it can't. I'm a blogger, and most of the work I do is online, so I respect the work that bloggers do. But they don't have the resouces, the time, or the money to break the really important stories.

The problem with this argument is that — increasingly — neither do metro dailies. Those guys who've spent decades developing sources? They were gone half a dozen rounds of layoffs and buyouts ago. Instead, it seems that the dailies have increasingly been forced, or chosen, to compete unsuccessfully with blogs on their own turf — cheap, lazy quasi-reporting or commentary that can be churned out by inexperienced staffers. This is particularly apparent at the level of local coverage, which (I would venture) is where it matters — for almost everyone there are better sources of national and international news than the local daily. I subscribe to the Economist and read the New York Times online; I'm not really paying attention to the the international coverage from the Trib (unless I happen to notice that Salopek's got something in it) or the Sun-Times. The last time I bought a Tribune I threw it away in disgust after seeing it reduced to filling space (in the A section, mind) with top-ten lists Cracked.com would be ashamed to publish. And this is Chicago, as old-school a newspaper town as you're likely to find — I doubt things are much better in, say, Poughkeepsie, though no doubt the absence of Sam Zell and Lee Abrams helps a good deal.

That's not to say there aren't good things being done in local print media. The local political coverage in the Reader continues to be worth searching out among the fluff even as they fire people like John Conroy. The Chicago Reporter does things nobody else is doing (and which, alas, apparently nobody else reads, either) and seems to me to understand the web better than either fumbling dailies or the Hyprlocl Citizen Crowdsourced 2.0 people. But the Trib and the Sun-Times, whether through simple lack of resources or a misguided and failing attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator, are not doing much to justify a subscription these days.

A few months back I wanted to read the (in)famous Mirage Tavern series the Sun-Times ran in 1978 (somewhat before I was born, and long before I ever read a newspaper). Because I am an idiot, I didn't realize that it had been reprinted in handy book form, so I went to the public library downtown to run off copies from the microfilm. The series itself is great. But I also skimmed the headlines and some of the surrounding stories in those January and February 1978 papers — and damn, that was a fucking newspaper. If they made them like that today I'd subscribe in a heartbeat.

None of which is to argue that local bloggers will replace newspapers. I have no idea what will happen. For the moment, newspapers don't seem to be replacing newspapers, either.
posted by enn at 12:09 AM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

The problem with this argument is that — increasingly — neither do metro dailies.

Sadly, this is true. If the point was that local bloggers can replace bad newspaper, that may be a valid point, albeit an extremely depressing one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:16 AM on December 1, 2008

Get ready for the outsourcing of journalism.

This is quite an old story - and it's been around since at least 2004.

The reason you haven't seen more about it is because while some little bits of editorial have gone to India, most hasn't. Because for anything more sophisticated than very short pieces which are usually based on press releases, the model just doesn't work very well.
posted by rhymer at 1:13 AM on December 1, 2008

Maybe local fixers can do the necessary local work.
When the interview was finished, they asked me to be their “fixer.” The word initially puzzled me. I was two years out of the Teachers’ Institute in Sulaimaniya, trained to instruct children in the English alphabet and vocabulary. I would have taught those children that a “fixer” is a person who repairs broken machines. But in a war zone, a fixer is a journalist’s interpreter, guide, source finder and occasional lifesaver. Every major media organization in Iraq would come to have its fixers. And fixers, it turned out, were well paid. I was offered $100 a day, about 25 times what I could make as a teacher.

I was 24, and suddenly I was the eyes and ears for some of the world’s top journalists.
Everything passes through this guy except the visuals. So... what if local US papers were written by Indian reporters working through local (US) fixers?

For a little extra cash, a well-connected local snoop in Small Town, USA, could set up and physically conduct interviews, attend press conferences, dig through local archives, and take pictures. In India or elsewhere, reporters skilled in asking the right questions and banging the facts together into a good story could guide the fixer on the phone, question by question, while looking at photos and video in real time.
posted by pracowity at 2:19 AM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Personally, I'd rather my local paper cut out all the syndicated news entirely and just have the city/region and comics sections.

I don't really need the A section full of reprinted AP articles with a paragraph tacked onto the end to give it "local relevance".
Cut out all the money you pay to the AP, hire a few more reporters to cover local and state news.
I'll gladly pay the same price for the subscription.
(oh, and cut off the online pseudo-blog presence. It sucks.)
posted by madajb at 2:55 AM on December 1, 2008

I'm a journalist and I had a PR person suggest to me recently that instead of running a nightdesk we outsource some of our work to the Philippines. I reacted with some horror because after some years of working a specialist beat, I know rather a lot about it and I have contacts and experience no-one in Manila could possibly have.

Now, sure, they can turn around pressers which unfortunately is a big chunk of my job - but can they contextualise the information? Can they sort through the bullshit? Can they make unexpected linkages and find things out by actually going places and talking to people? You know, the old fashioned kind of journalism?

I doubt it, because I couldn't do those things all that well myself for the first year or so in my job - until I developed the knowledge and contacts. And I'm getting better at this all the time, and my copy is getting better, and my understanding is growing in depth and breadth and so my readers are gaining more and more from me each week. I've written some major stories and I've won an award for my work, and I'm proud of what I do. It's a skillful job, which I believe I do in a skillful manner.

But the scary thing is I know one day someone will suggest to the person who runs my company that my job can be outsourced, and they'll be won over by the fact you can hire eight SA Asian workers for the same price as one Jasperella, despite all the work I do to maintain high standards.

Which leaves me jobless and leaves my publication a bland, flabby thing without understanding, insight or colour. As would any publication I was working on that wrote about events in SE Asia.

Anyway, it's depressing but hopefully there will always be some value to real journalism and not just this crazy outscourced churnalism type thing that's being discussed here.

Of course, I have my own agenda so my perspective is hopelessly biased in favour of myself and still having a job.
posted by jasperella at 3:00 AM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Jeff Jarvis writes on this topic on his blog, it's pretty interesting if you're into this kind of thing. "A Scenario for News" acts as a reasonable summary for some of his past posts.
posted by gregjones at 3:40 AM on December 1, 2008

Most of the investigative journalism in the U.S. has already been taken over by free alt-weeklies like the Santa Fe Reporter or the New Times.

Hell, the most in-depth reporting the New York Times does any more is vanity bullshit designed to get one of their hideous, surgery-addict "reporters" on the cover of their weekly magazine.

It was evident when most of America's dailies swallowed the Bush administration's Iraq war lies whole, without ever even following up on the most basic, easily-refuted bullshit, that I knew the press was more or less dead. Oh, and where did Judith Miller, the originator of all that "mobile weapons labs" nonsense wind up? At Fox News, as well as a conservative think tank, as it were.

Outsourcing to Indians couldn't possibly be any worse.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:10 AM on December 1, 2008

If Maureen Dowd is against it, that's a ringing endorsement.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:08 AM on December 1, 2008

Shoot, we should turn MetaFilter over to the robots too! That would class up the joint.
posted by up in the old hotel at 3:23 AM on December 1 [+] [!]

Agreed. I made a funny comment) and I agree that virulent strains pop up in San Francisco) except of course is if she is a first person ever to just sit calmly on the server...

Wow. Both plep and louigi are among "the most wondrous and mysterious and significant issues any thread possibly could address" but that physics has defined in a hiking group), build something that everyone has heard about. This is brilliant! In this sense, this feeling that you're asking this question may be on to work and then pointing to a farm where I roll a die six times then my browser crashed... Anyways, to address this other point. Yes, it is but if I just walked into this a commons limited by such a crazy, beautiful mish-mash of things.

But I have burned part of basic sociability to me.

What a mess.
posted by vacapinta at 8:09 AM on December 1, 2008

A relative of mine was fairly involved in local New England politics, and told me that the local reporters were especially green. Developed, longstanding professional relationships between reporters and sources in that community were rare to non-existent in the late 1990s, never mind this millennium.
posted by zippy at 8:20 AM on December 1, 2008

We all know that the Web expands dramatically the creation and the distribution of content (outsourcing being only a part of it), diluting every single day the products of the mainstream media (MSM). Meanwhile, the main business model of MSM, advertising, doesn't work very well on the Web.

The content part is relatively easy: new sources! new tools! new media mixes! new timings! infinite memory! ambient broadcasting! networked sources! networked users! The cornucopia of content is a joyful festival. The business model is where the real anguish lies.

I am following a hundred or so blogs about the evolution of news media and marketing on the Web. To anyone interested in these topics I would recommend Jeff Jarvis, as gregjones did, and Mitch Joel. Jarvis writes from a journalist's perspective and explores the new ways of creating content and new business models for news; Joel is a marketing professional and so immersed in the Web mechanisms that he asks spot on questions about marketing and content.

None of them has answers or solutions to the current crisis but both have open minds, a solid and intuitive knowledge of the terrain and great feelers in the industry. When anything emerges in the field, they are on top of it, adding new questions. They are not gurus but informed seekers and that's the kind of mind we need.
posted by bru at 9:14 AM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hey Honey, Has Juniors T-Ball Score Come in From Bangalore yet?

Is there Seniors T-Ball? I miss t-ball.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:27 AM on December 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

There’s no substitute for being on the scene and understanding the people involved (reminds me of Gates and Ollie North bringing a chocolate cake and a bible as gifts to Iran during Ramadan).

I talked to someone who had written a book on a particular aspect of one of our wars. I told him he’d gotten a bit wrong about a specific aspect of a particular engagement. He said he’d read all the reports, done copious amounts of research, spoken to the folks in Washington, etc. etc. and he had a doctorate and just who did I think I was?
I said “I was there when it happened.”
Not much you can say to that.

Seems to be the same deal here.
This ‘nuance of a sneer’ stuff is bullshit. No one wants the bald facts of the vote. Not in a particpatory democracy. You want to know what the issue is, who you can talk to, exactly those tools you need to be interactive.
If just the facts are important, why watch the game? All you need is the score, right?
And on that point - you can’t even play the game.
Democracy needs that on-scene participation. You have to be there. Reporters are the next best thing. They’re stand-ins for you being there.
If they can’t even do that, you don’t need them.
Some guy in some other country is going to be able to digest the importance of certain issues in my backyard? That’s as stupid as me thinking I know what people value in some town in India.
As far as machines go, they do the same thing the same way everywhere on Earth. But hey, are you for or against the new water tower? Alderman ‘x’ voted for it.
Well wtf does that mean?
Human affairs are far more complex.
As far as I’m concerned this is an abdication of social responsibility on the part of these papers so their stockholders can have a tighter bottom line.
F’ing stupid. Doesn’t matter how much damned money you have if you’re blind to what your local government is doing letting some company dump crap into your drinking water. Oh, but those folks are just looking at their bottom line too. Cheaper to dump crap in the water than it is to process it, isn’t it? Die choking, blind and ignorant because some guy 2,000 miles away is telling you “Jaymes Simith of number 6 grade in the middle school of Grove has achieve a homer run in the small leagues for Cardinals baseball squadron. ‘It is good that I did this thing,’ Jaymes said.’” and doesn’t know the public works guy is ‘Al’ not ‘Tim.’

F’ing stupid to sabotage your own feedback mechanisms, no matter how much money you make. (Not that this was the first step of course, as has been said above.)

I’ll give you a million bucks, and you never feel pain again!
(Sounds like a real bargain until you lean up against a hot stove and only realize it because your back is par-boiled)
posted by Smedleyman at 10:11 AM on December 1, 2008

Personally, I'd rather my local paper cut out all the syndicated news entirely and just have the city/region and comics sections.

I don't really need the A section full of reprinted AP articles with a paragraph tacked onto the end to give it "local relevance".
Cut out all the money you pay to the AP, hire a few more reporters to cover local and state news.
Yeah, but then you end up with this kerfluffle.
posted by vsync at 1:25 PM on December 1, 2008

Kinko's outsources all its document creation jobs to India. Hence I once spied a piano teacher receiving his finished recital program, only to see the man groan loudly over an obvious typo in a song title.

" 'Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Star'???? I'm working with 9 year olds here, this will break up the house!"

(BTW, the correction was promptly outsourced, with a four hour turnaround. Not even two key strokes could be made domestically.)
posted by bonefish at 1:51 PM on December 1, 2008

Reminds me of my borther's CompSci PHD project called "Author". He and his lab partner were in the process of unveiling it and it actually got into Newsweek magazine....on the 6th of September in 2001.

Author could be fed a few pertinent details and a time frame and it would do the rest. Worked pretty good. Lousy timing on the release though.
posted by Zangal at 3:22 PM on December 1, 2008

Another reason this is a bad idea is because the quality of writing is important. People don't realize how important good, entertaining writing is to a publication, but it is. Half of the comedy writers that have become popular on the internet did so talking about the most pointless, banal material that nobody would have ever cared about if they hadn't written it really, really well (for example, complaining about crappy 15-year old video games that nobody cared about even at the time.)

Outsourced journalists will probably lack the skill in English to write well and will almost certainly lack the shared cultural background necessary to write entertainingly. Even if editors make the grammar correct, they can't make it funny or give it emotional impact, and outsourced writers are likely to misinterpret or fail to notice any number of subtle cultural cues that reduce the depth and accuracy of their work.

It's just another way to use outsourcing to reduce cost while sacrificing quality. It's not going to be a favorable ratio, either - the industry is too cutthroat to sacrifice any quality, and the cost reduction is likely to be low. Still, I bet a few publications are going to kill themselves off trying it before the futility becomes obvious.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:38 PM on December 1, 2008

Good luck offshoring restaurant reviews. "Umm, good day, this is Salvatore House? Please send to me the following menu items, for delivery." (apologies for the bad Apu-esque insulting characterization but it wouldn't read otherwise).

George Habit will always have a job (and his daughter if she ever goes back to working with him again).
posted by stevil at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2008

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