The difference between this case of journalistic outsourcing and other cases is the subject matter – PasadenaNow’s journalists are being hired specifically to cover Pasadena City Council meetings.
Watch-dogging City Council is essential to the democratic process. Holding elected and employed officials accountable at the local level is vital if we are to balance business interests and community needs. So hiring reporters in India for this incredibly specific and local task continues to baffle me. Are we outsourcing democracy?
Another theme that keeps coming up in this whole outsourcing debate is the effectiveness of the Internet as an information delivery system. Say I went to journalism school, then started watching the city council meetings of some place far away. Would I get enough on-line information to make me a decent reporter?
The Pasadena Weekly thinks not–here’s a provocative editorial on what this all means for journalism.