This winter, AJR conducted its fifth census of newspaper reporters who cover state government, its first since 2003, and found a staggering loss of reporting firepower at America's state capitols.
The tally found only 355 full-time newspaper reporters at the nation's state capitols, a 32 percent decrease from just six years ago. It discovered that 44 statehouses have fewer full-time reporters than they did six years ago. The number of full-time reporters remained the same in four states and increased modestly in two.
In California, eight of 15 newspapers have cut back on Capitol coverage. The state, which has one of the nation's worst budget crises, had 40 full-time newspaper reporters at the statehouse in 2003. That number has fallen to 29.
Apr 2, 2009
State of the Statehouse coverage
An America Journalism Review survey makes an unsurprising finding - the number of statehouse reporters is down sharply: