Job-hunting journos not enticed to Florida by "the best journalism want ad ever" might consider setting their sights on Washington D.C., where it seems the number of reporters assigned to cover Congress grows each day. The result is elbow-jostling press scrums that sometimes swell to 100-strong.
In Friday's Washington Post, Paul Farhi takes stock of staff-expansions at various Capitol-based news shops. National Journal went on a hiring spree prior to their relaunch last fall and The Hill's newsroom has more than doubled to 60 over the past eight years. CQ and Roll Call are both on an "unprecedented" hiring spree with 35 positions currently open, Farhi writes. Washington newcomers Bloomberg and Politico have introduced pricey new subscription-based services: Bloomberg Government and Politico Pro. And web outlets like Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics, Daily Caller and Talking Points Memo, have all staffed up, and "started doing original reporting from the Hill."
All told, "The number of print, broadcast and digital journalists credentialed to cover Congress has been growing over the past five years and will exceed 6,000 this year," Farhi writes, "suggesting a ratio of roughly 11 news hacks to each member of Congress."
Columbia Journalism Review, in an editorial from its current issue, also weighs in on the proliferation of reporting gigs in the nation's capital.
"This is welcome news for job-starved journalists, especially those with wonk credentials," say the magazine's editors. "They get a chance to write, to become expert in complicated material, to hone survival instincts in a highly competitive arena, to receive guidance from veteran editors, and to score scoops that will be noticed by a hyper-wired Washington press corps."
(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)