HARTFORD, CT, May 26, 2009 — At first, it was just a joke. In November of last year, John Adamian, group managing editor of the Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate, & Fairfield County Weekly, read about a news site in Pasadena that had outsourced some of its reporting to India as a cost-cutting measure. In a meeting with other managers, he tossed out an off-the-cuff remark about trying that with the three New Mass. Media alternative weekly newspapers. He wasn’t serious, but then the possibilities for a one-time experiment in globalization began to resonate.
“Outsource the whole paper — the irony of a paper that works to connect with its community being typed up half way around the world, it seemed rich. But then the joke quickly became: What if they’re really good at it? What if we laugh ourselves out of a job? And then the questions grew more practical and more pressing: How do we coordinate an interview between an Indian journalist and a Californian musician with the 12-plus-hour time difference?”
The answer, Adamian says now, is “It can be done.”
The proof will be in this week’s issue of the Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate, & Fairfield County Weekly (publication date 5/28/2009). Most of the content for the issue has been generated by Indian freelancers: news stories, sex advice, film reviews, interviews, auto column, food stories, and music previews have all been assigned. The editorial teams of the papers have edited for grammar, spelling, and usage errors, of course, but with an aim to retain the voice of their Indian peers.
Having completed an entire issue using outsourced Indian freelancers, does Adamian now view the idea of outsourcing newspapers as a realistic option?
“You could hire freelancers from around the world to assemble a newspaper using cheap internet phone and online research, email interviews, culled bits from press releases, etc.” he says. “But in the end it would require a staff just to coordinate the thing stateside.”
“Plus,” he added, “it’s just a bad idea.”
But an interesting exercise for staff and, hopefully, readers. Check out the results in this week’s issues of the Hartford Advocate, New Haven Advocate, & Fairfield County Weekly.
For media interviews, please contact Lia Boyd at 860-548-9300 or lboyd (at) newmassmedia.com.
New Mass. Media, Inc. (NMM) is a unique family of publications offering 360 degree coverage of the news, arts, entertainment and culture across the diverse regions and communities in Connecticut. Our publishing family includes three flagship alternative weekly papers — the Fairfield County Weekly, the Hartford Advocate, the New Haven Advocate — and three dynamic websites — fairfieldweekly.com, hartfordadvocate.com, and newhavenadvocate.com — and numerous specialty stand-alone publications like local dining and seasonal event guides. NMM publications and websites offer a highly local focus individually; together, unparalleled regional scope.