The editor of a California news website looked to India for a reporter to cover Pasadena city government and politics, according to an AP report posted on StarTribune.com.
The job posting was a head-scratcher: "We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA."
A reporter half a world away covering local street-light contracts and sewer repairs? A reporter who has never gotten closer to Pasadena than the telecast of the Rose Bowl parade?
Outsourcing first claimed manufacturing jobs, then hit services such as technical support, airline reservations and tax preparation. Now comes the next frontier: local journalism.
James Macpherson, editor and publisher of the two-year-old website pasadenanow.com, acknowledged it sounds strange to have journalists in India cover news in the wealthy city just outside Los Angeles.
But he said it can be done from afar now that weekly Pasadena City Council meetings can be watched over the Internet. And he said the idea makes business sense because of India's lower labor costs.
"I think it could be a significant way to increase the quality of journalism on the local level without the expense that is a major problem for local publications," said the 51-year-old Pasadena native. "Whether you're at a desk in Pasadena or a desk in Mumbai, you're still just a phone call or e-mail away from the interview."
Click here to read the full report, posted on StarTribune.com.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â