Tag Archives: press

The Decimated Ranks of Reporter Bloggers and the Budget

There have been some complaints here and elsewhere that the press has not been focusing much on the budget.  The argument is that the press is partially to blame for the length of this impasse.  Well, they are probably right, but it isn’t really the press’s fault.  There just isn’t very many of them these days to actually write on the topic.  The Sacramento press corps has been pretty well thrashed over the past few months.  John Howard over at the Capitol Weekly did a good job covering the actual departures.  What I want to focus on is the utter decimation in the quality stable of reporter bloggers we once had covering state politics.

In the course of a few months we have lost Dan Weintraub, the first reporter blogger in the country behind a pay-wall at the SacBee.  He was joined by Shane Goldmacher, behind the same wall.  When Shane moved to the Bee from the Cap Weekly he gave up his blogger blog that had gained a respectable following.  The Mercury News blog On Politcs has been on hiatus since late January.  Kate Fulmar used to be the main voice over there, but she was recently let go by the Merc.  Heck the url doesn’t even work any more.  Last but not least is Bob Salladay.  He promised us that Political Muscle would be back after a brief hiatus, but it has been almost two months.  I still have Political Muscle and On Politics in my RSS reader, waiting for the day when they come back to life.  It increasingly looks like that day will not come.

Why does this matter?  Well, the negotiations around the budget have been fast and furious.  The reporter bloggers tend to be the best source for breaking news.  It has been almost impossible to track what is going on until the next day’s paper comes out.  By then it is already outdated.  John Meyers has been a great resource and just maybe we will see a post out of the Chron blog, especially if it is salacious.  Frank is doing an amazing job over at the California Progress Report, especially with his interns.  However, I still miss the broader based coverage we used to have a short time ago.  I am not one of those bloggers who gleefully watches the press’s fiscal troubles.  We need them to do a lot of the real reporting and leave us to run commentary.  Either that or our independent folks need to be better funded and we need more of them.