Outsourcing journalists' jobs

The future just keeps getting dimmer and dimmer for American print journalists. As daily newspaper circulation and ad revenue plummet, newspapers are taking every possible avenue toward cost-cutting. The latest trend is outsourcing jobs to India. Business Week reports that the publisher of the Orange County Register is experimentally outsourcing copy editing and layout work to India.

An Indian company will take over copy editing duties for some stories published in The Orange County Register and will handle page layout for a community newspaper at the company that owns the Pulitzer Prize-winning daily, the newspaper confirmed Tuesday.

Orange County Register Communications Inc. will begin a one-month trial with Mindworks Global Media at the end of June, said John Fabris, a deputy editor at the Register. [snip]

Other newspapers also have outsourced some work to India. Mindworks began copyediting and design of a weekly community news section and other special advertising sections at The Miami Herald in January. A month earlier, the Sacramento Bee, also owned by the McClatchy Co., said it would outsource some of its advertising production work to India.

Other news services, including Reuters, have gone to India for back office tasks for some time now. The poor state of English language skills among younger Americans may be a contributing factor to this move, but obviously it is mostly cost-driven. It will save money for awhile, but it won't reduce the costs of printing and delivering newspapers, a burden that alternative news sources do not bear. No doubt, the trucking costs for newspapers have soared along with gasoline prices.

The newspapering profession, already much to the left of the American public, can only go further left in the face of these pressures. There is nothing like the prospect of unemployment to make people favor big government.

The newspaper death watch continues.

Hat tip: David Paulin