‘Get me copydesk on the other side of the globe’

27 June 2008

Outsourcing medical operations to India is understandable because our doctors have a well-earned reputation for being among the best in the business. Outsourcing backend telephone work to India is understandable because we know how to talk—or we think we know how to talk.

Outsourcing film editing and post-production to India is understandable because the skills are more or less the same anywhere in the world. But outsourcing writing and editing? Sure, Sonny Mehta and Salman Rushdie are Indians, but does that put every greenhorn sub in the same category?

Outsourcing journalism is cheaper than making it at home, for sure, and in the age of falling circulation numbers and advertising revenues, it makes enormous business sense to bottom-line obsessed managers and accountants, here and there. But is it necessarily top-class from the client’s (and readers’) perspective?

Uniformly?

Does anybody get the feeling looking at Indian newspapers and magazines that Indian writing, reporting, editing, headlining, captioning, pagemaking is up there with the best of the world? Or does it not matter too much as long as we can get the message across?

The Orange County Register has become the latest American paper to be bitten by the outsourcing bug. It has decided to send some stuff to Mindworks Global Media. So far so good. But how good is Mindworks Global Media’s own editing skills?

Independent journalist T.J. Sullivan decided to put it to the test. Although he has no experience being a copy editor, Sullivan picked up Mindworks careers page, which surely must have been vetted by their best editorial heads, to clean it up for language. The results are revealing.

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

# 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.

# Mindworks is looking for graduates with an excellent command over [of] written English.

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

# 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].

Read the full article: Native intelligence

Also read: Media outsourcing is cheap, but is it good?

Why Google can’t find Dr K. Haminahamina

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One Response to “‘Get me copydesk on the other side of the globe’”

  1. Dileepa Says:

    You say “The results are revealing”. What exactly is revealing?


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