Zimmerman on Need for Reporting from State Capitols
Jonathan Zimmerman, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, laments the decrease in the number of full-time reporters covering state capitols. "Over 140 newspapers have reduced their statehouse staffs since 2003, and more than 50 have eliminated these staffs altogether," he writes.
Citing the first "muckraking" journalists, such as Henry Demarest Lloyd and David Graham Phillips, Zimmerman argues that journalists who investigate issues of corruption or malfeasance can have a profound effect on democracy.
Although some small blogs are maintaining coverage of state capitols in the wake of cuts to mainstream media, it is unclear whether these innovations will work.
"Without more reporting from state capitols, most of us won't have a clue what our lawmakers are doing," he writes.