Media Bistro Item: Missing Journos in DC

Friday, Mar 27

Missing: Journos in DC

MediaJobsDaily reports: While government is undergoing one of its largest expansions in history, there is one area in the capitol that has actually seen declines, the pressroom. According to Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, the number of media outlets with a presence in the Fourth Estate on Capitol Hill has declined 72 percent.

Currently 160 outlets report employees with Congressional credentials, in the mid-1980s there were 564 outlets. This isn’t just happening on Capitol Hill either, the number of news organizations with a presence in Washington DC proper has declined by more than half, according to capitol directories.

While mainstream media is shrinking, they are quickly being replaced by niche media outlets that offer specialized and detailed information to an elite audiences, with narrow focuses built around topics such as finance, lobbying and political interests. Many of these organizations, according to Pew, are financed by big companies like defense contractors, oil companies and mobile phone alliances trying to influence policy makers. In addition the number of foreign reporters in Washington has also grown to nearly 10 times the size it was a generation ago and their reports on congressional proceedings are quite different from the ones you might be reading in the Washington Post or the New York Times.

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