Covering McCain and Obama Costs $50,000 Per Reporter

Some wonder why organizations are staffing up the conventions where little news is expected.

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Rocked by warnings that it will cost news organizations $50,000 more per reporter to cover Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. John McCain, a growing number of journalists and press pundits are questioning why the media is staffing up coverage of the political conventions where little major news is expected. At least one paper and several Washington bureaus, we're told, have budgeted only $100,000 for political coverage, and their convention teams will eat most of it, leaving little to put reporters on the campaign trail. Mark Potts, a media consultant who blogs about the industry on RecoveringJournalist.com, goes further: Leave the campaign coverage to the big shots, like AP, and spend that money at home. "That $50,000 would go a long way toward paying the annual salary for another reporter to cover something readers really care about, like city hall, or local schools."