What a difference two weeks make.
Only a fortnight after writer Ryan Smith brought the issue of outsourced journalism to the attention of the wider public, relatively unknown hyperlocal content provider Journatic has been engulfed by a succession of scandals. As we reported at the beginning of July, Smith initially voiced concerns about Journatic’s decision to outsource journalism work to the Philippines, where workers would write news stories which were then published under a false name for the Chicago Tribune Triblocal website.
Following the revelation executives at the Chicago Tribune were quick to denounce the practice, stating that the use of false bylines was “a violation of the Chicago Tribune’s ethics policy. It has never been acceptable and will not be tolerated. We expect Journatic to adhere to this policy.” The paper then launched an investigation in order to determine to what extent Journatic’s unethical methods had infiltrated triblocal.com.