Fewer statehouse reporters

In the new edition of the American Journalism Review, Statehouse Exodus reports that the number of full-time reporters covering statehouse politics is declining at a precipitious rate, or as they put it:

“…a staggering loss of reporting firepower at America’s state capitols.”

There are about 1,400 daily newspapers in the country, but there are only 355 full-time newspaper reporters who cover statehouse news. This is a 32% decrease from six years ago.

Who will take their place? That news begs to be covered.

Here in Wisconsin, a new non-profit is sponsoring an investigative journalism contest. This must be one of dozens of efforts around the country to motivate non-professionals to become amateur sleuths.

I love contests like this but in the long run I am sure that a more stable structure will evolve to make sure that public corruption is covered.

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