Saturday, May 30, 2009

talk about offshore

i saw the cover but i didn't actually read it yet. i absolutely WILL today - at brunch. i thought it was quite brilliant but i had NO idea the extent to which the the advocate went

hell, there was even an article about cake (written by someone offshore)! dang

Connecticut Alt-Papers Outsource Editorial Content to India
By Mark Fitzgerald
CHICAGO The Hartford (Conn.) Advocate and two of its New Mass. Media alternative weekly siblings outsourced all their editorial content to India for their issue that hits the streets Thursday. "It's been fascinating to me to see this go from a chuckle in an edit meeting to an entire issue," Group Managing Editor John Adamian said in a telephone interview. All the local news, arts and entertainment reviews, restaurant critiques in the Advocate papers in New Haven and Hartford plus the Fairfield County Weekly were written by Indian freelancers hired for the occasion using ads on Craigslist sites in Mumbai and Bangalore -- the two favorite spots for U.S. outsourcing to India. So Nilanjana Bhowmick writes about the Shad Bake the Essex (Conn.) Rotary Club holds, as well the Shad Derby Festival. Nidhi Sharma Kirti writes about a new exhibition of Pequot Native American art opening in Ledyard. Even the sex-advice column was outsourced to the land of the Kama Sutra. In one example, Vijayalaxmi Hegde writes about an upcoming concert by the California group Cake: "Perhaps, it is this versatility -- this ability to belong to many genres and not be constrained by one -- that is the key to Cake's longevity. It's been a decade and a half since the Motorcade of Generosity rolled by and close to two decades since 'Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle' happened. If this is not durability for an indie band, what is?"..........


We hired Indian freelance journalists to write the paper this week. Here’s why we did it.

Last year, a news Web site in Pasadena, Calif., made headlines when they started outsourcing city hall coverage to reporters in India. Using simple webcams and e-mail, the site, Pasadena Now, would put journalists half a world away inside city council chambers to observe and file stories on local government. The site fired its staff, and replaced them with Indians who’d crank out 1,000-word stories for the rock-bottom rate of $7.50.

The media world was abuzz: American news outfit outsources local reporting to the subcontinent. Could we all be next?

We wondered too about the limits of outsourcing local news, particularly alternative journalism. Covering city council meetings via webcam is one thing. Producing entire issues of a local news and arts weekly is quite another. What started as a joke — "I’ve got an idea. Let’s outsource an entire issue to India just to see if it can be done" — has culminated in what you see here.

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