Now More Than Ever: Help a Reporter Out

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These days, more than ever, you really do have to help a reporter out, as Peter Shankman says. Speaking with a longtime reporter from a major US daily newspaper last week, she stressed just how drastic budget cuts have been to the business.

She said, and I’m paraphrasing, “What happens when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal stops sending people to DC? If you think it’s bad what’s going on now, what’s going to happen when they have no one watching them?” The assertion was that new outlets such as Politico and the major national dailies don’t have resources to cover every politician.

This on top of a story yesterday from the NYT that, “The Staten Island Advance, The Post-Standard of Syracuse, The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, and The Times Herald-Record of Middletown have all removed their statehouse correspondents from the Capitol since the beginning of 2007.”

Not to mention the largest newspaper in New Jersey and 15th largest in the country, The Star-Ledger just avoided having to completely shut down after more than 200 employees took buyouts.

And this is just in the NY metro area.

So, next time you’re pitching a reporter, now more than ever, put yourself in their shoes. It’s not pretty out there – many reporters are thinking about the end game – whether that be a buyout, a move to PR, marketing, a corporate writing gig, freelancing, or starting their own online properties.

The more you can do to be a trusted resource and not a pesky annoyance, the better.