US journalist offers outsourced news of Indian politics

😉 Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten isn’t standly idly by while low-paid journalists cover Pasadena, California from computers in India.

He’s decided to try outsourcing himself, starting with coverage of the Tamil Nadu state legislature in southern India, which he has been following via webcast. Well, he followed one meeting at least. Enough to get the gist of things.

This first report is now being offered to Indian publishers for only US$2, a bargain rate that should offer better value than using journalists closer to the scene, what with their demands for as much as 10 or 12 thousand dollars in annual salary.

While his grasp of Indian politics may not be perfect, Weingarten has all the tools of the modern outsourced reporter at his disposal, namely a computer and an internet connection. So Gene, over to you:

CHENNAI, INDIA — A man whose name is, I swear, “Somnath Chatterjee,” addressed the state legislature here today. Mr. Chatterjee was introduced as the leader of the “Lok Sabha,” which is evidently some sort of important national lawmaking body about which few details are available at this time.

Mr. Chatterjee is apparently in ill health, as he arrived surrounded by attendants in white hospital garb. However, he proved hale enough to mount the podium, where he delivered a lengthy speech in praise of an elderly, revered local government official whose name sounds something like “Dr. K. Haminahamina,” a name that, unfortunately, didn’t get any Google hits. But it’s got to be pretty close…

I know you’re going to want to read the rest of Weingarten’s debut coverage of Indian local government. It’s funny stuff, but also ironic, in that the Indian journalists recruited for the Pasadena site probably have a much better grasp of Amercian culture than the typical American (or Canadian!) has of theirs. One of them studied journalism in California.

I’m curious to see how the outsourced news on Pasadena Now works out. I skim the site occasionally, but have yet to see anything labelled as having been written by one of the Indians. Anyone else spotted their work yet?

One Comment

  1. Sounds rather interesting, if the content is good and the price points are attractive, it does make a lot of sense. I also cover a bit of Indian politics in my blog, would be glad to help.

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