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Jonathan Kaplan

Lack of Regional Media in Washington

Gerald notes a fascinating piece by former Blethen reporter Jonathan Kaplan on his own firing and the thinning of substantive national political reporting in regional newspapers.

Rep. Tom Allen, a Maine Democrat, plans to attend his party's convention in Denver next week and is already airing television advertisements in his uphill battle to unseat Sen. Susan Collins come November. He's working hard. But if Maine voters are going to hear what he's doing, and hear what he thinks Collins isn't doing in Washington, he'll have to work even harder.

Incumbents already get most of the breaks, with high name recognition and deep cash reserves. But now there's an even stronger protection program for U.S. representatives and senators: the demise of regional reporters who keep tabs on what those veteran officeholders actually do for the constituents who keep returning them to power.