When journalists and researchers express concerns about cutbacks in newsrooms, they often point to America’s statehouses, where there’s a perception that important local reporting has suffered because of newspapers’ financial struggles.
Does that match up with reality? Essentially yes, says the Pew Research Center.
In a new study released Thursday, Pew shows that the relatively small pool of reporters covering state governments has been drying up over the past decade.
Currently, there are 1,592 journalists assigned to statehouses in all 50 states, according to Pew. About half of them are on the beat full-time. And roughly 14% of the total are students who cover the legislatures and state officials for short periods of time. Local television reporters account for another 17% of the total.
Most of the rest work for newspapers, but their numbers have been dwindling.
“An analysis of comparable newspaper data over time reveals a 35 percent drop in full-time statehouse staffing from 2003 to 2014,” Pew says.
“In numerous conversations with journalists, legislative leaders and industry observers, one sentiment was expressed again and again: concern about the impact of what they see as a broad decline in mainstream media coverage.”
Source: CNN Money |