Pasadena's reporters in India *

James McPherson, the owner of Pasadena Now who fired his reporters and replaced them with cheap piece workers in India, is featured today in, of all places, Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times.

“Everyone has to get ready for what’s inevitable — like King Canute and the tide coming in — and that’s really my message to the industry,” the editor and publisher said. “Many newspapers are dead men walking. They’re going to be replaced by smaller, nimbler, multiple Internet-centric kinds of things such as what I’m pioneering.”

McPherson feels the column was too brief to do justice to his thoughts, so he has started a blog to elaborate on his take about outsourcing journalism.

The most important point not included in her column is that I simply do not believe in or practice uncontrolled, long-distance news reporting - a concept which is patently flawed.

What I do believe in is a modern-day revival of the “legman/rewrite man” news reporting system pioneered by Charles Chapin (”the greatest city editor who ever lived”) around the turn of the last century, shortly after the introduction of the telephone.

I still never hear Pasadena Now mentioned in any context but the India thing, nor have I ever seen it.

* McPherson emails: "One major clarification: I did not fire my reporters in order to hire Indians. You will see clearly from online caches that I initiated relationships with Indians in April 2007. I did not hire reporters until later - in August, 2007 - partly in response to the thunderous criticism of my "outsourcing." Ad sales did not increase thereafter (although readership shot up) and I was, sadly, unable to pay for the newly hired additional staff."

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