As a recent article in the trade publication Broadcast Engineering pointed out, consolidation of media ownership is changing the news gathering business and putting the squeeze on newsrooms. That is having a profound impact on the ability of the media to keep an eye on what's going on in state government.
There are currently only about 500 reporters covering state legislatures across the nation. There are roughly 40,000 registered lobbyists — five per legislator — seeking to influence government decisions at the state level.
The battle between private gain and the public interest is not a fair fight. When the mouthpieces of the private interest groups outnumber the eyes and ears of the general public by such an outlandish margin, is it any wonder these special interests are having their way with our elected state representatives?