TWN, the journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, reports in its current issue that the number of print and broadcast journalists covering the Washington Legislature full time has dropped by about 70 percent.
This over a 15-year period when the state's population has increased by 25 percent.
It's another sign of the cost-cutting that's going on throughout the news industry.
Who cares? Harvard's Alex Jones apparently does. He's the director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and he put it this way in the TWN account: "When reporters leave the state Capitol, the mice play."
The Spokesman-Review is lucky in this respect. We're represented by top-drawer reporters in both Olympia (Rich Roesler) and Boise (Betsy Russell). You can follow their reporting in the pages of the paper and on their blogs, Eye on Olympia (spokesman.com/blogs/olympia) and Eye on Boise (spokesman.com/blogs/boise).
But what about this trend? Do you share Alex Jones' anxiety?