Number of Statehouse reporters down

Jul 10, 2014

State government controls billions of dollars in tax money and makes decisions that impact lives every day.  

Still, there are fewer people to keep watch over statehouses.   Jamey Dunn reports the number has dropped 35 percent in just over a decade.

The Pew Research Journalism Project took a look at statehouse press corps across the  country.   Newspapers employ the largest share of journalists assigned to cover state government. But they have been cutting statehouse staff since the late 90's. 

Pew also found that one in six journalists based at state capitols work for “nontraditional” media, such as nonprofits and primarily online news sources. 

While the amount of reporting on state governments is in decline, state officials themselves seem to be doing more than their federal counterparts.

A separate Pew study found that almost half of state governments enacted more laws in 2012 than Congress did in 2011 and 2012 combined.

At the time of the survey, Illinois had 22 full-time statehouse reporters. That number is also down from previous decades.