The Toronto Star, Canada’s national largest newspaper, has signed a deal with page-layout outsourcing firm Pagemasters and has informed its union that it plans to outsource 78 copy editing and layout jobs to this company, which form part of 121 job cuts it plans to save millions of dollars a year.
I’ve written before about the larger issue of the outsourcing of copy editing jobs. Saying I’m against it would be transparently self-serving, but I’d like to think there’s some magic in the designing of pages, writing of headlines and editing of copy that will be missed when the job is handed over to a third party that is interested more in volume than quality.
On the other hand, I’m pessimistic that readers will care enough about how their paper is produced to speak with their wallets and tip the economic balance in favour of those workers.
UPDATE: Torstar says it has “no choice” – which of course is not true. It also says it hopes to keep the same level of quality, which is obviously not feasible.