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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Number of news organizations covering federal agencies has fallen since 2003

In the late 1990s, AJR began to systematically track coverage of federal departments and agencies through the Project on the State of the American Newspaper. One of the goals was to determine how coverage by newspapers and wire services had changed over time.

To do that, AJR selected departments and agencies that deal with everyday issues such as food safety, taxes, airline policy, the economy, veterans' benefits and workplace rules. Four times--in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004--we checked to see whether they were covered by full-time beat reporters and, if so, by which news outlets. [They] defined full time as two-thirds of a reporter's time covering the department and closely related issues.

[They] did that again this year, thanks to a grant from the Open Society Institute, on the heels of a recession that brought on or accelerated layoffs, buyouts and bureau closings.

Read more here.

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