Next let's outsource the readers
Maureen Dowd of The New York Times has discovered, somewhat belatedly, the outsourcing of journalism to offshore (read: cheaper) operations.
In particular, she describes in a column one James McPherson’s coverage of events in Pasadena, Calif., from Mysore City, India. Mr. McPherson’s epiphany was that he could produce Pasadena Now and not only eliminate those tiresome and slow-moving editors with their quibbles about factual accuracy and clarity, but also the reporters and their princely wages of $600-$800 a week.
He’s as proud as if he had invented the sweatshop himself: “I pay per piece, just the way it was in the garment business. A thousand words pays $7.50.”
Ms. Dowd thought to call one of his employees in Mysore, where the “reporting” is done by video and e-mail. She wrote to “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.’ ”
It is a singular achievement for American newspaper journalism: to have transcended satire. Nothing in Evelyn Waugh’s classic Scoop can rival what American publishers and publishing executives are doing seriously.
It was once thought that some publishers displayed their contempt for the public by publishing trash — celebrity gossip, scandal, grotesquely slanted news stories to benefit a political party or cause — the kind of twaddle in the London tabloids that Waugh so adroitly mocked. Now, contempt manifests itself in an apparent lack of any concern for providing anything that anyone would want to read.
Given the current hectic pace at which newspapers are diminishing themselves, they will soon shed those annoying readers as thoroughly as Pasadena Now dropped those redundant reporters.