A report released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center details the number of journalists who cover America's statehouses, including our own here in Springfield.
There's mixed news in the report. The number of journalists covering statehouses has actually increased by 11 percent since the last time this study was conducted in 2014. One of the drivers of that growth is an increase in the number of reporters covering the beat part time, meaning the journalists are assigned to cover non-state-government topics, especially when the state legislature isn't in session. Another source of the increase comes from the growth of nonprofit news outlets.
I'd like to invite you to a Zoom event the Public Affairs Reporting program is hosting on this topic at noon on May 4.
We're happy to have Katerina Eva Matsa, a Pew Research associate director and co-author of this report, join us to provide an overview of what's happening with statehouse reporting around the country. We'll also hear from three Illinois Statehouse journalists, who will give us a closer look at the situation at Second Street and Capitol Avenue in Springfield. They include:
- Hannah Meisel, state government and politics editor for NPR Illinois
- Brenden Moore, state government and politics reporter for Lee Enterprises, which runs newspapers in Bloomington, Decatur, Charleston-Mattoon, the Quad Cities, southern Illinois and St. Louis
- Jerry Nowicki, bureau chief for Capitol News Illinois, the nonprofit organization that opened in the Statehouse press room in 2019 to provide state government coverage to member newspapers throughout the state
You can register for free to attend this event at https://go.uis.edu/Statehouse.
Jason Piscia is an assistant professor and director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield. He came to UIS following a 21-year career at The State Journal-Register.