the beat and how to swing it

At big news organizations, many reporters and editors are subject specialists. The specialties demanded change all the time. In the straight-arrow early ’90s, I went to a party where someone introduced himself as “the sin reporter” [1] for his wire service. He covered US consumer goods and found himself writing mostly about alcohol and tobacco companies – it was an era of distillery takeovers and lung disease class-action lawsuits. Last year, as cannabis became legal and corporate in Colorado, the Denver Post appointed a marijuana editor.

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still true

… the leading critics of our news system are ill-advised in giving so much attention to the fact that the number of our newspapers is decreasing – a trend which has little or no effect upon the copious distribution of reliable news and virtually no relation to the real abuses of news handling in America. Besides, that decrease results from the operation of economic laws which would be about as hard to repeal as the schedule of tides at the Bay of Fundy.
   What we should concern ourselves with is the wide dissemination of the idea that the news is a set of counters in a “game” in which the people are to be excited at any cost …
Frank Luther Mott, The News in America,1952