With newsroom budgets shrinking, so is the number of reporters who can attend the conventions. AP is planning a cut in convention staffing, down to what we’re told is a roughly 50 percent decrease and 10 print side staff for both conventions. But AP Spokesman Paul Colford insists the assessment is untrue.
“With text reporters, video journalists, AP Radio staff and photographers, we plan to be well equipped to cover both conventions,” Colford told FishbowlDC.
“Expect much smaller Associated Press footprint this year at the two conventions,” a source tells us, albeit anonymously.
Pressing him further about the cuts, Colford added, “The number you have is incorrect (10). It overlooks reporters with the candidates, locally based AP reporters and others (see my previous email). AP’s coverage of the campaign to date has been extraordinary. We are sure to provide robust coverage that’s just as strong from the conventions.”
AP Senior Managing Editor for U.S. News Mike Oreskes also denied the alleged dwindling coverage further, saying, “The conventions are set-piece events and we have planned the staffing carefully to provide considerable coverage without wasting time and talent that can be better applied to other parts of the campaign (where, by the way, we have been very strong).”
UPDATE: Colford adds, “Fewer people than at previous conventions, yes – totaling more than 30 in all across all platforms at each convention. The 10… is the total number of national print reporters among the 30-plus.”