No One Around To Mind The Store?

May 10, 2010 2:17 p.m.

We’re getting anecdotal indications that the decline of the newspaper business, particularly the withering of the size of newsrooms, is having a practical impact on the 2010 congressional election campaigns. I’m curious to know if you’re seeing evidence of this, too.

I was talking to a candidate last week in one of the high-profile 2010 races. Campaign coverage has just about evaporated in this candidate’s state, I was told, because there are so few reporters left, and those who are still around have bigger priorities, especially this far out from Election Day. As a result, it’s hard for the campaigns to get any traction with messages or story lines, and voters are much less engaged.

That’s not the first time we’ve heard this complaint from campaigns. It’s happened often enough now that I wonder if it’s part of a larger pattern. Intuitively it seems plausible enough, but I’m very curious how broad the pattern is.

I’d love to hear from our readers who are local journalists and editors. But I’m especially interested in what campaign consultants and political types have to say. Are you seeing this too? How are you adapting to it? What changes has it forced you to make in how you campaign? Shoot us an email to the tip line at the top right of this page. As always, it will be confidential.

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