December 18, 2008

Washington News Bureaus Are Shrinking

Published: December 17, 2008


— A new president arrived from a new party. The balance of power shifted in Congress. Legions of fresh new faces showed up in the nation’s capital with new ideas, eager to upend the way the country
does business.

The year was 2000, and Cox Newspapers had about 30 people in Washington to cover the new Bush administration.

Eight years later, a similar transformation is under way, the stakes heightened by two foreign wars and the worst economic collapse in decades, but Cox will not be there to cover it. Cox, the publisher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Austin American-Statesman and 15 other papers, announced this month that its Washington bureau would simply close its doors on April 1.

Rest of story.


Why are people surprised? This is just the next natural step.

For the past 10 years or so US media outlets -- with the exception of National Public Radio -- have been cutting back or eliminating foreign news bureaus and foreign news reporting.

During that same period, the world has become more interconnected politically, economically and socially.

The US media turned their back on the rest of the world for a variety of reasons, including financial problems. But that only explains the reduction in full-time foreign correspondents. It does not explain the cut back in the use of wire copy or freelancers to tell American readers stories from around the world.

And now, the nation's capital is being treated as a distant country as news organizations remove their reporters from the area.

And this is good for the news industry and our readers/listeners/viewers how?

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