Monday, January 08, 2007

retreat from Washington? bureau cuts

We always turn to Monday's business section in the New York Times for media news, featured on this day every week. Today, Katharine Q. Seelye reports on newspapers that have cut, combined or eliminated their Washington bureaus, thanks to the plethora of news available on the Web, either straight from the source or via official services. Here, some examples:
Unlike in most cities, events all over the highly wired capital are broadcast live and transcripts are instantly available. Congressional committees Webcast their hearings. Scores of industry newsletters track incremental steps in legislation. The Supreme Court releases same-day audio recordings of some cases. Public-interest groups do original research and are making raw data available on the Web.

“Almost nothing that happens in Washington is fresh in the next day’s paper unless it breaks at 10 o’clock at night,” said Bennett Roth, a reporter in the Washington bureau of The Houston Chronicle.
That last comment has been true for some time. Now, when we have fresh news at 10 o'clock at night, the question will be, who'll be there to report it?

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