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5/11/2007
04:21 PM
Brian Gillooly
Brian Gillooly
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Newspaper Reporting Being Outsourced To India

Farewell, Nation, this may be my last blog post. Some in the IT community, particularly those whose jobs had been displaced or were about to be displaced by Indian outsourcers, said I'd get my comeuppance after I wrote a column a few years ago about my sister-in-law potentially losing her job overseas. It seems my turn on the unemployement line may come sooner than I think as journalism jobs are now being sent to Indi

Farewell, Nation, this may be my last blog post. Some in the IT community, particularly those whose jobs had been displaced or were about to be displaced by Indian outsourcers, said I'd get my comeuppance after I wrote a column a few years ago about my sister-in-law potentially losing her job overseas. It seems my turn on the unemployement line may come sooner than I think as journalism jobs are now being sent to India...Pardon the divergence into my life for the moment, but this is an issue with which you're none too familiar that's now impacting my industry, so there's some relevance you might find interesting.

In that column about my sister-in-law, I said that anyone, even a family member, has got to keep him- or herself relevant or risk oblivion. I was excoriated by readers for my "insensitivity," and told I'd get mine someday (no, my sister-in-law was not one of them, though to this day in conversations with my brother she still refers to me as "that SOB brother of yours").

Well, my day may be nigh, according to an AP report about a Web site in Pasadena called pasadenanow.com, which has outsourced two reporter positions -- for covering local city news like council meetings and fund raisers -- to people in Mumbai and Bangalore.

Ouch! But truth be told, I did acknowledge in the same column years back that I would have to keep myself relevant if I wanted to stay employed. I don't know, can a blog about the CIO community be outsourced to India? I didn't notice anyone from Bangalore chatting up the CIOs at this week's Software 2007 conference, so I guess my job's safe for the time being.

But all kidding aside, I'm not at all shocked by this development. As the editor of the Pasadena site says, for some types of stories, as long as you can pick up a phone and interview people, does it matter if you're in Pasadena or Mumbai? Sure, some of the nuance can be missed, but then who really expects deep context and man-on-the-street flavor in a 200-word snippet on the watermelon festival? When you get into other types of journalism, and more contextual articles, nothing can replace being there to report in person. It'll be a long time before Woodward and Bernstein are unemployed and the next Deep Throat is meeting a grad student in a parking garage in Hyderabad.

Until then, I'm safe. But when it happens, I'll feel your pain...

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