Outsourcing writing and the consequences

There is a great local writer named Rober Feder that I always read. I’ve also met him and he is cool, not to mention in college we had to read his broadcasting articles.

Anyway he’s now online having lost his job at the Sun-Times and had an article today.

 http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/15513226/outsourcing-journalism-derails-tribune%E2%80%99s-credibility. The gist of the article is that the Chicago Tribune outsourced a lot of their writers to freelance in the Philippines. These “writers” made up headlines, fabricated quotes and down right plagarized. There was a comment in the blurb stating that when you have people in other countries writing they honestly don’t care what they write.

Here’s the thing though, and that is finding a writing job in this country is hard. More and more papers are going to freelance and unlike in the past finding a job that will pay you enough to be a fulltime writer is hard. We have two major papers here the Tribune and the Sun-Times, not to mention several suburban papers (most owned by these two major papers) and all are in major financial difficulty. The one paper (Sun-Times)is becoming more and more celebrity orientated and the other has less writers as well (and is the one that is outsourcing writing and editing jobs). Yet more and more students are graduating from various journalism and communications schools only to see there are no jobs in anything related to this field. I speak from personal experience having been a journalism student.

I’m hoping when people read all of this and start realizing many articles are written overseas they might quit their subscriptions. I know I will read the papers daily and half the time I find grammatical errors, sentences that make no sense and the like. At first I figured it was printing error but now I know it’s writing and proofreading errors caused by sending these jobs overseas.

7 thoughts on “Outsourcing writing and the consequences”

  1. I know of somebody who lost his newspaper writer’s job nearly 3 years ago and he has found nothing comparable since.

    Disgusting what is happening. I should tell my friend to keep an eye on that paper he worked for; somebody HAS to be doing the job he once did. Impossible for him to not have been replaced on some sort of level.

  2. Probably replaced by either a freelancer or yep someone overseas. I know a few people who have been unemployed many years from newspapers, including someone almost 10 years. They ended up going into another field because this field is drying up. Same thing with all the communications. I worked in radio and PR and both are in serious trouble and less jobs.

  3. Many people have already quit their subscriptions, and instituting “paywalls” in websites has met with varying degrees of success.

  4. My local newspaper, which used to be locally owned by a wealthy family, has been a part of the Gannett chain (USA Today) for almost a decade and the quality has predictably gone to shit, like all Gannett-owned papers. Not only that, their call center was outsourced to India and now, the final insult, a 25% price increase for a monthly subscription that allows the reader “full access (whether they want it or not) to the online content as well as their daily printed copy delivered to their home. The full access also allows them to read the paper from a smartphone, Ipad, etc. What they fail to give a damn about is all the older readers who may not even own a computer or other device to read the online content, are still charged the full price of being allowed access to it. The new price and policy of course don’t allow a reader the option of print subscription only, even tho it wouldn’t be that hard to police.

    They are fooling no one, but they don’t care. We can all see that older readers like me are having our subscription money used by them to fund and develop the online part of the business until the inevitable elimination of the print edition.

  5. I’m not sure if these local papers charge more for the online content but do know one of them (the Tribune)plans to charge for online so nothing surprises me. I know newspapers are going strictly online and print versions are going away.

  6. Another problem of outsourcing articles is that the amount of fact-checking required needs to be increased because the people writing the stories don’t know the mayor from a chosen freeholder.

    It may not matter, because even among reasonably well-educated people, FOX News has taken over their brains in FAR too many cases.

    Getting back to the wedge issues of gun control, abortion, and gay marriage…

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