James Macpherson, editor and publisher of the Pasadena Now website, hired two reporters last weekend to cover the Pasadena City Council. One lives in Mumbai and will be paid $12,000 a year. The other will work in Bangalore for $7,200. The council broadcasts its meetings on the Web. From nearly 9,000 miles away, the outsourced journalists plan to watch, then write their stories while their boss sleeps — India is 12.5 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
“A lot of the routine stuff we do can be done by really talented people in another time zone at much lower wages,” said Macpherson, 51, who used to run a clothing
business with manufacturing help from Vietnam and India.
Although this might be an isolated case, it could catch on if publishers perceive a real cost savings. Or not, if they sense a loss of a connection to the communities they are covering.