Commentary

OK, completely unbiased coverage is unrealistic, but this is ridiculous.

(Nope, not the Newsweek stink.) News reports often leave readers with the impression that everyone is outsourcing offshore and that anyone’s job could be the next to go overseas. Don’t hold your breath for improved coverage, at least not from Reuters:

Union employees at Reuters are stepping up their campaign against the wire service’s outsourcing of U.S. jobs, most recently transferring the editing and caption writing of photos to its Singapore office and some Internet work to Toronto.

“U.S. jobs”? Reuters is based in the U.K. Are Americans stealing jobs from Brits?

Members of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America have distributed leaflets outside Reuters’ office in Times Square. Critical ads also have been placed in Investor’s Business Daily and the Columbia Journalism Review, and more are planned for the Web.

But you guys will still be even-handed when covering outsourcing, right? You know, report on how it also creates jobs in the U.S.–stuff like that. Another thing to bring up is that offshore outsourcing is rarely the cause of job loss. The pattern holds in this case too:

No guild member has received a pink slip because of outsourcing, but six to eight are “at risk” – primarily in the Washington office – because of last month’s opening of the global photo-editing desk in Singapore, according to Bill O’Meara, secretary-treasurer of the union’s New York local.

Then again there might be some hope for better coverage, particularly since some of Reuter’s work is going to Canada. All those stories featuring sari-clad Indian woman can be misleading for Canada is a much more common outsourcing destination.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.