The FCC report says that newspapers and TV news networks have half the staff that they had in the 1980s and that newsrooms now stand at pre-Watergate employment levels. As a result, local news coverage is in trouble. Courts, schools, legal affairs, environment, state government and education once were priority beats. Now they lack reporters to cover them. The number of newspapers with bureaus in Washington has declined. Local news coverage of religion “is all but gone[.]”While NPR gets good marks, local radio news coverage is following the trend of having too few people following the reports of other outlets. Again, from Poynter:
Despite the abundance of local media outlets, Waldman said, there is “a shortage of media reporting.” In Baltimore, for example, there are 53 news outlets, but a Pew study said most of the content came from one TV station and The Baltimore Sun. “So far the news media is not filling this key need” to report news and not just repeat what others have reported, Waldman said. About 15,000 reporters have left newsrooms in the last decade in America, he said.