Oct 20, 2008

Go West, young man... much, much farther West

Dean Singleton, speaking Monday to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, urged his belt-tightening brethren to consider "consolidating and outsourcing news operations" in these tough economic times. From USA Today:

MediaNews Group CEO Dean Singleton, who also serves as chairman of the board of The Associated Press, told the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association that papers should explore outsourcing in nearly every aspect of their operations.


Singleton said sending copyediting and design jobs overseas may even be called for.

"One thing we're exploring is having one news desk for all of our newspapers in MediaNews ... maybe even offshore," he said during the speech.

Singleton added after the speech, "In today's world, whether your desk is down the hall or around the world, from a computer standpoint, it doesn't matter."

From computer standpoint, a lot of things don't matter. Computers, for instance, don't care if you know how to do your job. They're also quite immune to concerns about quality, standards and good judgment.

But I digress.

James Macpherson, editor and publisher of pasadenanow.com, makes an appearance in the USA Today piece where he extols the virtues of hiring overseas reporters to cover local city council meetings - mainly, they're cheaper. Macpherson, who doesn't seem to think a lot of things matter either, says he's quite content if his noncorrespondents get the facts even if they don't know what those facts mean:

"You might miss the nuance of a sneer on a councilman's face but you know how he voted and what he said," he said. "That's factual and can be reported on from anywhere."

Indeed. Another place where what a councilman said and how he voted are reported without nuance is in the meeting minutes. Cost-cutting publishers can buy them from the city for a mere 10 cents a page.


Anonymous said...

You know, while we're at it...how about transfering NEWSPAPER OWNERSHIP overseas too. I, for once, would be glad not to see his disease-riddle corpse around here...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gary's headline although I don't think he was directly addressing it at Mr. Singleton.

Let me adress it at him and amend it a bit: "Go west old man. Much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much farther west. And don't stop until you can stand on the shore and see Sarah Palin's Alaska from your house. Oh and give us back the keys to journalism before you go."

Mike Rappaport said...

Isn't it time to stop using the terms "Dean Singleton" and "journalist" in the same sentence?

Unless you're putting "is not a" between them.

Anonymous said...

This guy is part of the WHOLE problem. Shipping jobs overseas is crushing our economy. This is a short-sighted solution (if you can call it that) that will come back to haunt him and the rest of the idiots that worship the bottom line. Invest in your own communities.

Anonymous said...

I just read that the McCain camp has picked up the endorsement of the Detroit News. McCain is about the only individual who has picked up any product Singleton has his hands in.