BuzzMachine: Covering conventions is a waste

As usual, Jeff Jarvis nails it in his take on the number of journalists covering the major party national conventions:

Forbes.com reports that the number of journalists covering the conventions this fall will remain at the same level as 2004 and 2000: 15,000 of them. What a waste. The outcome of the conventions is known. There will be no news. Why are these news organizations sending so many staffers there?

Ego.

That’s it, pure ad simple: Our man in Denver. Instead of your woman. It’s for bylines, bylines the public couldn’t care less about. The coverage will be no different outlet to outlet. We can watch it all ourselves on C-SPAN.

Read Jeff’s entire post, including his counter-argument to the “we’re covering our local delegations” objection…and his interesting perspective on whether bloggers should attend.

When every newspaper in the country has laid off dozens, scores or hundreds of reporters, it’s hard to reconcile how they would send reporters across the country to cover an event in which there won’t be any real news.

If newspapers were flush with cash, this ego could be rationalized. But given that they are all fighting for survival and that there will be no shortage of stories to which they can link, sending reporters to Denver and Minneapolis seems an indulgence they can’t afford.

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