Can journalists be outsourced?

24 07 2009

Today’s world is all about global collaboration, opening of resources and creating accessibility. You see it almost everywhere in jobs, businesses and the economy.

Pulitzer Prize winner, NY Times columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman writes much about this 21st century phenomenon  in “The World Is Flat.”

Though the book didn’t focus on the news industry, it got me thinking: if Friedman is explaining how virtually all industries are being affected by globalization and new technologies, what about a news company like the very one he works for?

Courtesy of Kewei Shang

Courtesy of Kewei Shang

There’s a likely chance the customer service person you’re speaking with on the phone about your U.S. product is, in fact, not from the U.S. but working in a call center in Bangalore, India.

The several hundred parts used to construct the laptop or computer you are using to read this post can undoubtedly be traced to dozens of different countries (don’t worry, Friedman did the dirty work for me)

Much of today’s technology and past world history contributes to the shift being witnessed in the global economy. Part of  this shift, as illustrated above, is about cutting out unnecessary hindrances and costs.

For example, when was the last time you bought a plane ticket through a travel agent? The internet allows people to cut out the middle man (or woman) and directly purchase tickets through Web sites like Orbitz and Expedia.

Friedman’s book got me thinking: with almost every job sector experiencing the effects of globalization (good and bad of globalization), in/outsourcing and some sort of “flattening” process, what about the news industry? Can journalism be outsourced?
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