reports based on an article by the International Press Association (API).
The API report was also taken up by Le Monde (via @LB2S), and the figures reported there say that within five years, the number of journalists accredited at the Commission fell from 1300 in 2005 to 752 in 2010.
I am not sure whether these figures are necessarily just related to the Brussels environment. The general situation for the professional journalism over the last years hasn't been overly positive either.
I also don't share the critical remarks by Michael regarding the fact that the Commission isn't very friendly to journalists by providing free photos and live videos and by holding press conferences in its representations in the member states instead of centralising everything in Brussels.
These developments are positive.
These developments lead to a necessary decentralisation and eases it to follow EU politics on the national level, both for citizens, as well as for national journalists and national news outlets that do not have the budget to pay correspondents in Brussels. And I have the feeling the the amount of EU coverage, at least in Germany, both in print as on TV, has significantly boosted over the last year.
It doesn't mean that I don't think we need enough journalists in Brussels to have an eye on the backroom deals, interinstitutional power fights, and lobby influences that aren't visible without professional journalists keeping track of what is going on.
But let's be honest:
How much investigative reporting do we get from Brussels? How much interest have national editors-in-chief paid to the Brussels correspondents in the past? Isn't the fact that most of the standard reporting (press conferences, documents etc.) can now be done at distance thanks to the net a big advantage? Aren't those journalists back in Brussels now forced to concentrate on discovering what is not accessible instead of reporting the obvious?
In other words: Are less Brussels-based journalists really this bad as the figures suggest?
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