“Will write for food” said the T-shirt produced by student journalists over 15 years ago. Since then, the number of journalists writing for food has been cut in half. The advertising model is broken, except for the big search engines. People are so used to getting their news for free that they forget there is no really free news just as there is no free lunch.
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State House coverage continues to decline
Since we began six years ago, the amount of coverage of the State House and Maryland government has continued to decline. Even in this year of a new administration, with the exception of a few big news days, the press room at the State House is mostly empty. Fewer papers are sending reporters.
Last year’s purchase of the Capital and Carroll County Times by the Baltimore Sun has meant that the work of a single reporter gets shared among several formerly independent outlets. In mid-June, the Gazette newspapers in Montgomery and Prince George’s County closed. The Gazette a decade ago provided some of the best alternative coverage of Maryland politics. Now it is gone.
MarylandReporter.com is hardly a replacement for all those reporters who have lost their jobs and those publications that have closed or been bought. But as the Chinese saying goes, it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. If everybody who opened the newsletter in their inbox most days gave us $50, we’d be funded for most of the year. But the fact is that only a small percentage do.
We’re especially grateful to the Knight, Leidy and Abell foundations, our sponsors and the hundreds of readers who continue to make it possible for us to produce independent reporting about state government and politics. Their support enables us to do original stories and our daily roundup. Consider becoming one of them.
Not surprisingly, many of our best read stories this year had the name “Hogan” in the headline as we try to provide diverse perspectives on the new administration. As our mission statement says, we are committed to making state government as “open, transparent, accountable and responsive as possible — in deed, not just in promise.”
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your support.
Editor and Publisher
6392 Shadowshape Place
Columbia, MD 21045
Home office: 410-312-9840
A copy of the current financial statement of MarylandReporter.com (IRS Form 990) can be found on our website. It is also available by writing Len Lazarick, MarylandReporter.com Inc., 6392 Shadowshape Place, Columbia, MD 21045, by e-mailing Len@MarylandReporter.com, or by calling 410-312-9840. Documents and information submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from the Maryland Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401, (410) 974-5534.