Throwing tomatoes, outsourcing journalism

December 4, 2008

On the Gristmill blog, Tom Philpott examined what happens when a few large buyers dominate a market.

Anyone who keeps up with my posts — still there, mom? — knows what’s coming next: The buyers gain the power to dictate to dictate terms and conditions to sellers.

…I often focus on meat to illustrate the ills of market concentration. But as this post from the Ethicurean’s excellent Mental Masala shows, things are just as bad in produce markets. Riffing off an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Mental invites us to consider California’s mighty tomato-processing industry.

Jason Preston weighed in at Eat Sleep Publish on why he thinks outsourcing newspaper work overseas (as described in this New York Times column by Maureen Dowd) is a bad idea.

As we move forward, the business model is going to have to adapt, which means exploring ideas like metered content. All the outsourcing does is lower the dollar cost of production while accelerating the process making the product itself into a boring commodity.

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