So Pasadena Now is outsourcing writeups of city government meetings to writers in India. This prompted much tsk-tsking. And, sure, it’s hard to imagine that these writers, N thousand miles away, will know about the intricacies of Pasadena politics. But it’s not such a dumb idea to get more value from more content. Why not transcripts, meta data, podcast edits, and more? Says the Guardian:
But among the dire predictions of the death of local reporting, a more prosaic motive suggests itself: the editor could not find a local prepared to sit through the tedium of Pasadena’s council meetings.
“I have been unable to find anyone to work for me who will sit through them to the very end,” he admitted. “No matter how much I offer them. A lot of work in the US is done by aliens because Americans won’t do it. This is just the same as that.”
I’ve been trying to find anyone who would salute the idea of podcast sunshine on local government meetings: Encourage your public to go record your town and school-board meetings. I’d listen to mine, especially if someone edited it down to the interesting bits — even if that someone is in India.