Overseas outsourcing of newspaper jobs started years ago as a slow trickle, mostly from IT departments and the like. As the financial prospects of the newspaper industry have declined, outsourcing has come to be viewed as more of a necessity. Even news jobs have been sent to India, although that is still a relative rarity. More common—and more threatening, if you happen to be a US newspaper employee—is the large-scale outsourcing of advertising department work. People in India can assemble newspaper ads just as well as people here, and "many sources agreed that a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that metro newspapers can realize a savings of about $500,000 a year when ad production work is offshored."
E&P takes a look at the whole ad outsourcing scene of the moment, and it's scarily big. Of course, there's no real compelling reason not to outsource right now, if you're a newspaper owner in the midst of the current miserable economic climate. Except one:
A bizarre incident that occurred early this year off the coast of Egypt affected Internet access throughout the Middle East and Asia: At the end of January, two undersea Internet broadband cables were cut. The disruption slowed or halted Internet activity in a whole swath of countries, including India, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates, and Bahrain.
"The biggest impact to the rest of the world could come from outages across India, where many U.S. companies outsource customer-service call centers and other back-office operations," an AP report warned.