Regional reporters who are based in Washington, D.C., and who serve as watchdogs on local congressional delegations and who pay close attention to how local issues are affected by the federal government are “an imperiled breed,” states a post in The Washington Post.
The story noted that the National Press Building was a place where every “decent-sized newspaper and many broadcast outlets had a Washington bureau.
“Consider one indication: About 20 years ago, the D.C.-based Regional Reporters Association boasted 225 members; it’s now down to below 70.”
The post, by Margaret Sullivan, added that “news organizations that used to have big, vibrant Washington bureaus are down to one person, or no one at all. (That situation is true — maybe even worse — at the state level, too, where statehouse bureaus have dwindled dramatically as local news organizations continue to cut costs to deal with the loss of advertising revenue, once their lifeblood.)
“Tamar Hallerman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will soon be the only newspaper reporter for the Cox chain working in Washington. (Cox’s broadcast division still has several D.C.-based journalists.)
“At 29, Hallerman doesn’t remember when that bureau boasted well over 20 people covering Washington-based beats in depth, but she’s heard about it.
““People talk about the glory days, but I never saw it,” she told me. “It’s going to be just me.””