Dave Stancliffe, a columnist at The Eureka Reporter in the USA, has published a unilateral condemnation of outsourcing. He asks: where do we draw the line with outsourcing?
Outsourcing may begin with ad production and layout, but where will the financiers look to next in their drive for efficiency? Is this the beginning of a wholesale move in search of cheaper labour, or is it a one-off reaction to a competitive market?
"I dread to see what will be outsourced next. Newspaper editors perhaps? Somewhere along the line we're losing more than just jobs," writes Stancliffe, citing issues of diminishing public trust if their local papers are edited overseas.
This is a serious question, especially for local newspapers. Pulitzer Prize-winning local newspaper, The Orange County Register, outsourced its copy editing and page design function to India after struggling with falling ad revenues. As Stancliffe writes, "The writing was on the wall in 2006 when they started offering a voluntary severance program."
If a paper is being copy-edited in another country, can it really still be called a "local newspaper"?
However, the wholesale relocation of newspapers to India or any other country is still unlikely. Most newspaper owners are well aware that to provide news to their communities they have to be a part of those communities. Running a newspaper is difficult enough without having to consider time-zone differences when chasing a story.
Early reports on outsourcing indicate that it is not always plane sailing. However, we will have to wait and see how these newspapers fare in their efficiency drive. Maybe this innovation will prove successful.
Source: The Eureka Reporter