Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And so it begins

People have made jokes about it, but it appears that outsourcing newspapers to India is moving one step closer to reality.

Freedom Communications, owner of the Orange County Register and other local publications, is purportedly launching a pilot program that sends copy-editing duties for some of its weekly publications to India.

This, hot on the heels of an Elegy for Copy Editors in the New York Times.


Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding. It's bad enough when you call Dell or AOL and get "Elllo, this is Travis, May I help you?" and then you can't understand the next 50 words they say... how the hell is an Indian (no racism here, i assure you) going to edit a story in English? and I don't mean the King's English. I mean American English. Wow, this is the beginning of the end...

Len Cutler said...

The thing that management always overlooks is that there's a lot more to copy-editing than simply spelling and grammar - and your point about colloquial English certainly applies as well.

But fact checking, getting names/titles correct, and elements regarding location...those niggling details are going to be tough for someone thousands of miles away to handle properly.

This is just a trial effort at first, and hopefully Freedom will see the error of their ways soon. Some of my best friends are copy editors, and it's more than disturbing that someone would consider those jobs so easily replaced at all. I've been writing professionally for over ten years, and I would never consider myself prepared to copy edit at a major newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose


Anonymous said...

Exactly: You cannot equate cheap labor with quality editing. One thing that Freedom and NewsMedia are going to find out the hard way is that you get what you pay for. I would bet my last rupee on it!

Outsourcing is a major cultural failure. AOL helpdesk is a sham. Dell technicians all sound like they teach Sanskrit as a first language. It would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

I can see the first accident report now. The headline will say:

Pedestrian walks into car moving to him, is very dead today!

Anonymous said...

All this country exports anymore is OUR jobs!