Politico and the Land of Opportunity

Politico’s intention to expand its reporting business beyond Washington and New York comes at a time when news coverage of statehouses across the country is in steep decline. And that’s only one of a several good reasons for expansion.

The Pew Research Center reported in July full-time coverage of state legislatures has dropped 35 percent in little more than a decade. The Center’s census of statehouse reporters showed that 741 full-time journalists are assigned to statehouses, but nearly 100 of those are in Texas and California alone. (For a look at the overall decline of beat reporting, check out this recent episode of On the Media.)

The result is a lot of uncovered stories. Fewer reporters, more opportunities, less competition. Continue reading

Digital Divide & Conquer

In August, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reported on the presidential campaigns’ use of digital to bypass traditional earned media. The broadest conclusion was that the president’s campaign posted almost four times the content as his challenger and was active on nearly twice the number of platforms.

The Pew study also revealed that the dominant national message of the campaigns dealing with jobs and the economy was not the dominant interest of voters on the digital hook. For both campaigns, issues like immigration, health and veterans generated two to four times the reaction.

The digital divergence didn’t matter to the campaigns. As Pew said, “neither candidate engages in much dialogue with voters,” referring to citizen content on the digital channels of the campaign. Continue reading