Industry trend - “outsource” it all, Part I

   The handwriting was on the wall in the media industry, at least publications, a year ago, when the Washington Post “outsourced” a photo assignment on a top story to stringer(s) - in D.C. itself.  It’s now clear that the industry wants to “outsource” any possible work - and not to hire staff employees unless needed, even to the point of cutting existing staff and having stringers do the work they previously did.
   For a long time, USA Today ran US Presswire - really only an agency for managing stringers on sports stories in-house.  US Presswire’s story has been long reported in News Photographer and elsewhere; in no sense was it either a wire service or a photo agency - as US Presswire photos seemingly never ran outside of USA Today.  USA Today’s owners since expanded that concept by turning USA Today and other Gannett properties into a “mini-AP” in which content from any one might run in any other.  
   Now, the Washington Post itself is repeating that pattern - with the “Washington Post Talent Network” to manage its stringers and (likely) also sell their services to other clients.  The Talent Network just was started by the Washington Post.
   Sports Illustrated - in the past year - downsized all its staff photographers, openly saying it will hire out its considerable photo work to stringers.
   It’s clear that the costs of calling somebody an “employee” - even to shoot stories in your own city - has reached the point that nobody wants employees: unemployment compensation, workers comp, paperwork, Obamacare, equipment, whatever.  Not even deepest-pocket-funded top dailies like the Washington Post.