Who covers your state legislature? A disturbing report from Pew Research, if you care about democracy

Who covers your state legislature? A disturbing report from Pew Research, if you care about democracy

It's well-known that digital disruption has wrecked havoc on the nation's newsrooms. What's less documented is how that disruption has played out on specific types of news and in specific geographic areas. Pew Research Center has analyzed number of full-time reporters covering state politics in every state. Using population as the relational variable, they've identified which states have a high reporter/population ratio and which have a low one. And although absolute numbers are illustrative, these findings may be more disturbing: Less than a third of U.S. newspapers assign any kind of reporter—full time or part time—to the statehouse... Fully 86% of local TV news stations do not assign even one reporter—full time or part time—to the statehouse... About one-in-six (16%) of all the reporters in statehouses work for nontraditional outlets, such as digital-only sites and nonprofit organizations... Students account for 14% (223 in all) of the overall statehouse reporting corps...…continue reading →