Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Forbes gets radical. Reuters too

Forbes is pioneering something quite out of character. Old-school conservative journalism is not supposed to meddle with leading edge thinking. But has taken a look at how much money Google makes out of selling keywords to trigger ads in its search engine and is going one better: advertisers can now buy in-context in-editorial keywords in Forbes articles that pop up small ads when readers roll over them with a mouse. Readers can identify an ad-linked word by its double-underlining.

There are examples in this Forbes article about another radical journalistic move, this time by Reuters. Reuters is outsourcing to India. Nothing new there. But what is being outsourced is surprising: it's journalism, and journalism about American companies at that.

Time was when to do secondary research you had to be on the ground in the area. The Internet and low-cost telecommunications have eliminated that geographic requirement. It seems these Indian journalists will be restricted to data gathering and graphics, at least for now. But I imagine that in the near future we'll be seeing feature articles coming from India-based writers. Maybe they'll be less tainted by US partisanship. And the eloquence of writing in American journals may finally start to improve...

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