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As Capitol press corps shrinks, government controls message


Scott Cooper February 26th, 2009

The sun was down, the building nearly empty " the perfect time to slip in a massive piece of legislation which could alter an entire legal system. Lawmakers were mulling over a simple four-page ...

Press-room-overlooking-hous
is eCapitol, a state government news service provider. The company is set up much the same way as The Journal Record, with a large staff to track every bill going through the House and Senate chambers. eCapitol is based on a subscription service, allowing clients to specialize what type of news and tracking they need. Reporters are stationed at the Capitol to provide more content and analysis.

For the public, there is no shortage of information on finding bills, looking up committee schedules and keeping track of votes. A person at home can worm their way through the state's Web site to find the needed information, or rely on one of the tracking services to do the job quicker and easier.

But is that enough to stay informed on whether lawmakers are doing the people's business?

"I think it is becoming increasingly evident that the problem today isn't a scarcity of information," Vieth said. "The problem is there is too much information that people who don't dedicate their lives to combing through it have a difficult time knowing what's important and what's not. Journalists act as filters and "

 
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