Outsourcing news?

by Justin Horwath

Any decent editor will tell their reporters that good journalism won’t come from the office. Competent reporters hit the streets and meet sources in their environment. 

And so its a wonder how Pasadena Now continues to produce content a year after James Macpherson launched what many regard as the first outsourced news site that covers local news. Reporters more than 8,500 miles away in India–India–are covering city hall meetings in Pasadena, California.

Macpherson told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in her Sunday column that it would be "irresponsible" for newspapers to not explore offshore options. He’s paying $7.50 for every 1,000 words.

 Here’s more from Dowd’s column.

"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.’"

And it seems Macpherson’s idea is catching on. A Mexican news site just posted a Cragslist.org listing, which is how Macpherson originally solicited reporters, for "a journalist to report political news from India."

"Knowledge of spanish (sic) would be a plus, but it’s not mandatory," the posting states.