From the release:
The Associated Press announced today that it would restructure its regional reporting team in Washington to provide every state with regional representation in the nation’s capital by the start of the new Congressional year.
Under the plan, AP’s current corps of regional reporters will be reorganized into teams from four regions. They will be responsible for spot news from the Congressional delegations they cover and broader Washington issues affecting their region. The restructuring will provide AP regional Washington coverage for 28 states that now are not represented.
“Every state will soon have coverage from an AP Washington regional reporter,” said Michael Oreskes, AP managing editor for U.S. news. “Just as important, they’ll have a team focused on regional issues of vital relevance to them and, with the team structure, they will also have back-up.
“We believe this move will appreciably help our members at a time when many are hungry for news of their delegates in Washington. Where once we had no ‘local’ coverage, now we will.”
The teams will correspond geographically to the four regional editing desks now being established by AP across the U.S. and answer to news managers in each of them. The first desk, in Atlanta, was established earlier this year, followed by the East Desk, in Philadelphia. Locations of the two other regional desks have not been announced yet. Until they are, the Washington regional teams for the West and Midwest will report to regional managers to be named.
The new structure will allow the regional teams to prioritize needs for all the papers in their area and increase coverage of the most relevant and important news in their region. The reorganization will involve the reassignment of about 12 reporters into the four regions.
Reporters have been assigned to the regions. Beats and specific state responsibilities will be refined in the next few weeks.