The world may be flat, as New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman has written, but I always liked to think I was standing on a bit of a hill. Now comes the news that pasadenanow.com, a local new site is recruiting reporters in India. The Web site's editor points out that he , they can hire two Indian reporters for a mere $20,800 a year-and the won't be communting from New Delhi. since Pasadina's city council meetings can be observed on the Web, the Indian reporters will be able to cover local politics from half the planet away. And if they ever feel a need to see the potholes of Pasadena, There's always Goole Earth.
Excuse me, but isn't this more or less what fomer New York Times reporter Jayson Blair was fired for-pretending to report from sites around the country while he was actually holed up in his Brooklyn apartment? Or will pasadenanow.com be honest enough to give its new reporters datelines in Delhi (or wherever they live).Writing was believed to be safe, the last strong hold of Western creativity. Explaining the outsourcing of almost every newspaper function, including copyediting, the billionaire CEO of a consortium of Irish newspapes wrote: "With the the exception of the magic of writing and editing news...almost every other function, except printing is location indifferent."
Is there nothing an actual, on-site American can do better than anyone else?