Eleanor Clift is very upset that nobody is covering state-level politics: “On a good day, state news is under-covered, especially compared to its importance. While multitudes of reporters in Washington chronicle the gridlocked Congress, the number of full-time reporters covering 50 statehouses has fallen to roughly 300, down from 500 in 2003, according to the Pew Research Center.” But is the situation that there is no coverage, or simply that the coverage is not by the right sort?
The decline in reporters working for mainstream or legacy media outlets has been filled in part by journalists hired by specialty news outlets like the Alaska Budget Report, which charges $2,397 for a year’s subscription, and the pro-free market Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Mark Jurkowitz, one of the authors of the Pew study, says the ideologically driven reporting tends to be on the right. Pew found only one organization in North Carolina identifying as progressive. “With resources stretched as thin as they are and reporters caught up in the day to day ping-pong, enterprise reporting or looking for scandal goes by the wayside.”