New Delhi newsrooms don't feature Woodward or Bernstein.
The Juice has itself an Indian correspondent, an outsourced journalist, reporting live from New Delhi on the South Florida restaurant scene.
It began with a January 12 email from a freelance writer in India. We're making fun of journalism outsourcing here and not our correspondent, so we'll call her only by her first name, Shalini. Truth is, that's more identification than most of the outsourced media industry workers, who toil in obscurity, doing copy editing for the Miami Herald or taking subscription calls for the Sun-Sentinel.
Shalini's cover letter began: "I take this opportunity of submitting my resume to your esteemed organization, perchance there is an opening for a suitable position that your good self would deem suitable for the benefit of the establishment." Her resume promised "excellent written and oral communication skills" and said she had been a freelance writer for unnamed publications since October 2007.
So what the hell. We offered her a job.
In an email back to Shalini, we tried to adopt a bit of her language: "We seek a freelance writer to write about the restaurant business in South Florida, and I hope this is a task that you could endeavor to serve."
We said we've got a job for her, but we wondered how she could report on Florida from New Delhi. She replied: "Regarding the articles we can have deep research via internet and then i have a team of writers in USA and other places to help for the same." She offered writing a sample article as a trial.
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We gave her an assignment: review a local restaurant. Shalini said she could have it turned in the following night, on January 17. She turned it in at 7:23 a.m. -- hours before deadline. Here it is, unedited, straight from New Delhi.
Smith & Jones
People always talk about eating out especially on Friday or Saturday night. But to find a good restaurant for family and friends and have great fun is hard to find. Smith & Jones a well known place has opened a new restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and it is one of the best places to go out for good and delicious food.
Smith & Jones is a place where you can take your loved ones/family or friends out for dinner try out new restaurant on East Las Olas Blvd, for the first time. It is very hard to decide what to order from the appetizers menu, like wild mushrooms with goat cheese, pulled chicken quesadilla with cilantro sour cream along with killer bread. The mushrooms with goat cheese is said to be out of this world as it tastes so good that it cant just describe the taste. Also there is honey jalapeno grilled chicken breast, combination of honey and spicy was also good that your mouth will be on fire. There is also a delicacy in thanksgiving 365 and New Mexican roasted chicken enchilada. It makes your stomach full but then without trying some desserts will not complete the dinner menu. In order to try some desserts that would be double decker devil's food cake and strawberry cupcake shortcake with fresh belted cream.
Smith & Jones is not a very expensive place to go out. The best part about Smith & Jones is that they have live music there, which is liked by all. Eating outstanding fresh, delicious food and listening to some great jazz music and some other romantic music was so perfect that anyone would have a great time. Smith and Jones is an enormous, salutation and reasonable addition to the Las Olas dining sight.
Now you might be thinking, "Hey, that didn't make any sense." Or "Was that English?" But didn't Shalini encapsulate everything necessary for a food review? You get a sense of a place, an idea of the food, the music, and even bread that kills. Sure, it's unclear what she means by a "delicacy in thanksgiving 365" -- along with a few other phrases -- but it's fair to say that her "team of writers in USA" came through. At least, by outsourcing standards.
So Shalini might become a regular contributor to the Juice. Next, we'll need to discuss payment. What do outsourced Indian journalists make, anyway?