More than a dozen veteran political reporters have either taken a buyout, been laid off, or quit to work at the Capitol. Papers including the L.A. Times and the San Francisco Chronicle have been affected. Experienced reporters cost more, says Dr. Barbara O’Connor, a communications professor at Sacramento State University. She says papers cut costs by letting them go, but meaningful coverage can suffer:
“The capitol bureau has been almost decimated in terms of the people who have corporate memory on issues, on budget, on lobbyist endeavors, and so you have a whole bunch of new people being hired who are much younger but they don’t have that corporate reserve.”
She says she hopes things will stabilize as papers get more revenue from online news.