OC Register Outsources Copy Editors


Many a newsperson has bemoaned the shrinking size of the newsroom, but it seems that at least one paper is welcoming new hires:

An Indian company will take over copy editing duties for some stories published in The Orange County Register and will handle page layout for a community newspaper at the company that owns the Pulitzer Prize-winning daily, the newspaper confirmed Tuesday.

On the opposite side of the newspaper management-labor dispute is Gene Weingarten, who wrote a tongue-in-cheek column for last Sunday's Washington Post Magazine, criticizing the Post's decision to buy out some of its copy editors:

Truth to tell, I feel badly for all copy editors whom, I'm afraid, will suddenly find themselves out of a job. Time has past them by, however, efeated the Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings and it doesn't make sense for us to weep for copyeditors anymore than it makes sense for us to lament the replacement of bank tellers with automated ATM machines.

So to all my former copyediting colleagues, I wish them a soft landing. Finally, I'd like to give particular shoutouts to my friends Pat Meyers and Bill O'Brien, two longtime copyeditors for the Washington Post who took the early retirement: We'll miss ya, guys, even if we didn't need you all that muck.

What's happening at papers has been happening in other industries for a long time: As companies streamline processes and embrace new technology, their demand for labor fluctuates; out with the old, in with the tech savy; etc., etc. The recently retired can kick back, consult, or go back to school and get with the program.

As much as I love the idea of tucking a press card in my hat, smelling a newspaper that has just flown off the press, and naming my hemorrhoids, I really hope the Indian copy editors pan out. Hindus are better than no news.