Pew study finds sharp drop in reporters at statehouses

A recently released study by the Journalism Project at the Pew Research Center revealed that there are 164 fewer full-time newspaper reporters covering state legislatures since 2003. The total number of full-time statehouse reporters dropped to roughly 300.

According to the study’s researchers, news outlets adding reporters typically offer their content to narrower audiences or are backed by partisan outlets.

Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Journalism Project and an author of the study, said, “In numerous conversations with journalists, legislative leaders and other experts, the one sentiment expressed again and again was concern about the impact of a perceived decline in mainstream media coverage.”

AVMA Communications believes that the drop in traditional reporting creates an opportunity for state associations willing to distribute press releases or alerts to media outlets in the state, preferably before any action is taken in the statehouse. With fewer reporters, these outlets might be more open to “our side” of the story.