Outsourcing copy editors

Dateline: Thu 30 Nov 2006

While I spent much of the day trying to persuade 5-month-old Ezra that he'd like rice cereal as much as breast milk, loyalist Jim Burns made yet another great find on the Interweb:

http://www.madison.com/tct/entertainment/index.php?ntid=108973&ntpid=0

Madison Times writer Jane Burns has this to say:

"And here I thought that outsourcing the Etch A Sketch was as low as the American business climate could sink.

"Boy, was I wrong.

"A recent article on the Web site of the journalism think tank the Poynter Institute wrote about how the day might be nearing for papers to start outsourcing their copy desks. It's not that big of a leap, Poynter surmised, because of the growth of international companies that do editing and proofreading work.

"Already, papers as large as the Columbus Dispatch and the Chicago Tribune will move some of their advertising work abroad. The article also said the Knight-Ridder chain (with papers in St. Paul, Miami and Philadelphia, among others) considered consolidating its editors before selling the company.

"This doesn't make my head nearly explode because, in addition to writing this column, I am a copy editor. It horrifies me because the notion of the people fixing the paper not living in the vicinity, much less another country, is inconceivable."

Nobody said it better than Jim: "How come everybody and everything can be outsourced except those with money, power and influence?"

Despite my support for Gov. Daniels' efforts to fix welfare (and it is broken) Jim and Jane's overall point is well-taken.

Or as another reader noted: "It never ends.''

comments: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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