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Thursday, March 27, 2008

What gets us out of bed in the morning

People have been preparing a Requiem for the newspaper for several years now. But rather than spending too much time blaming the Internet or Craigslist, consider this statement:

The agenda of the American news media continues to narrow, not broaden.

This is just one of several trends identified by the Project for Excellence in Journalism in its recent "State of the News Media" report.

To drive the point home, an exhaustive analysis of news coverage showed that court and legal news fills just 0.4 percent of the news hole (which is what we like to call that blank space between ads) in mainstream American media.

0.4 percent!

That makes legal news the second least covered domestic issue in the country. Only development and sprawl gets less attention than our legal system.

That’s sad, but for me, strangely rewarding at the same time. Legal news keeps us up at night and gets us out of bed in the morning. And if we didn't do it, I'm not sure anyone else would.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


What does the Minnesota Lawyer reporting staff think of the conviction of the St Paul man who threatened to kill his son's coach (story link above) - why is 'terroristic threat' the new catch-all charge for anything and everything. It used to be that a threat or stalking was 5th degree assault after plea bargaining. It makes prosecutors look like they are out for blood - is this man going to blow up a school or hold a city in fear of attending sporting events? What does the prosecutor think about how this will follow this man for the rest of his life. Punishment is certainly needed in this case but give me a break!
Also, this skews data when criminal justice students like myself try to analyze crime data. But maybe this helps police departments justify additional funding because "we have a major terrorist problem"? Hmmmm....