India: Editing broadsheets abroad*

The Orange County Register's decision to outsource some editing to India shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in our ailing newspaper industry, particularly here in Southern California, where a Pasadena news outfit flirted briefly in 2007 with the notion of outsourcing reporting to the subcontinent.

With 2008 shaping up to be the worst year on record for ad revenue, more creative solutions, and associated workforce reductions, are likely.

Not so in India.

They're accepting applications in India.

The company that the OC Register hired, Mindworks Global, has several job listings* posted on its Web site.

Because I've never worked on a copy desk, most editors would probably say I lack the experience necessary to perform the duties of a "copy editor." However, as Mindworks has made copy editing part of its mission, I thought I might help clean up its Careers page*. Consider it a bit of reverse outsourcing.

My edits are noted in the excerpted copy below. Strikethroughs and [suggested changes in bracketed bold italics] are mine. In the interest of brevity, I've omitted some of the copy, as noted with a [Snip ...]:

Copy Chief -- You should be able to lead a team of sub-editors and take overall responsibility for the editorial quality of assigned projects.

[Snip ]

You must have [an] excellent command over [of the] English [language] and close familiarity with [have a working knowledge of] international media.

[Snip ]

Senior Sub-editors -- Mindworks is looking for people with strong editorial skills who are able to turn around copy fast and flawlessly.

[Snip ]

Ability to perform well under pressure is a must and so is ability to work well in [on] a team. You need to have 2-5 years of work experience.

Copy Editors -- Mindworks is looking for graduates with an excellent command over [of] written English. The job involves working on varied and exciting editorial projects with people across the globe and the chance to acquire world-class skills.

We are looking for graduates/postgraduates who have always dreamt [dreamed] of working in the media, and have a passion for writing/editing.

The right candidates should be alive to [keep abreast of] current events, have high analytical skills and a burning desire to learn.

The ability to perform well under pressure and work with teams is a must.

Online editors -- Mindworks is looking for people to edit user-generated content on media web [Web] sites. You should be able to follow prescribed guidelines to select/edit user content, and also have good language skills to edit and upload text and photo [photos] on web [Web] sites.

Good comprehension skills are a must, and so is an ability to work well in [on] a team. Prior work experience is not a must, but experience with web-based [Web-based] content management systems for uploading/editing text will be an advantage [is preferred].

* UPDATE -- June 28, 2008 -- The content of the Mindworks Careers page has been modified since the posting of this blog entry on June 26.

Click to e-mail TJ Sullivan


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