National Press Club

What’s next for regional reporting? How to produce meaningful journalism with shrinking budgets and growing mistrust

What’s next for regional reporting? How to produce meaningful journalism with shrinking budgets and growing mistrust

August 1, 2019 6:00 PM

Location: First Amendment Lounge

The regional reporters who cover the nation’s capital for audiences outside the Beltway today face a host of challenges: Shrinking newsroom budgets have closed or decimated many D.C. bureaus, leaving those reporters who remain under major pressure to fill the gaps. The nation’s federal offices are more opaque than ever, making it difficult for journalists to hold them accountable on behalf of the public. And the public itself has become increasingly skeptical of--and sometimes hostile toward--the news media. How can regional reporting adapt to, and once again thrive in, this environment?

On August 1, join us for a conversation among four distinguished panelists with distinct perspectives on the topic: Veteran regional reporter Jerry Zremski will discuss how his job has changed after three decades in Washington and his biggest challenges as he seeks to keep his readers informed about what their representatives are doing in D.C; the Pew Research Center’s Michael Barthel will share his research about the local news landscape and public trust in journalism; and former U.S. Reps. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., and Jim Moran, D-Va., will talk about their experiences being covered by local and regional reporters and how the changing face of the news media impacted the way their constituents engaged with them.

This National Press Club Journalism Institute program will be held in conjunction with the Regional Reporters Association, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The program will be held in the First Amendment Lounge at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5:45 p.m. Registration is required. The cost is $5 for members of the National Press Club and $10 for non-members. Please register below.

About the panelists

Michael Barthel is a senior researcher at Pew Research Center, where he focuses on U.S. public opinion of the news media, journalism, and social media. He is the author of reports on the newspaper and public broadcasting media sectors, fake news, civic engagement and news habits, attitudes toward the news media, and Americans’ use of Reddit for news. Barthel received his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Washington, where his research primarily addressed trust in the news media and digital journalism. He regularly discusses his research in interviews with the press and at speaking engagements.

Ryan A. Costello is a former two-term Republican congressman from the suburbs of Philadelphia who retired at the end of the 115th Session. Costello served on Transportation, Veterans’ Affairs, Energy & Commerce Committees. He served on the Republican Whip team and was widely recognized for being one of the most bipartisan members. He previously served as Chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners. Costello is a licensed attorney and is now a public policy and strategic communications advisor at his firm, Ryan Costello Strategies, LLC. He can be reached at ryan@ryancostello.com.

James (Jim) P. Moran is a senior legislative advisor with McDermott Will & Emery. Jim is a former U.S. congressman who served Northern Virginia from 1991 to 2015 and is well known for his abilities to work across the aisle and resolve complex issues. While in Congress, Jim was a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, overseeing the budgets of the Interior, Defense, Health & Human Services and Foreign Operations agencies. Prior to his run for Congress, Jim was the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia from 1985 to 1990. Prior to elected service, he worked at the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare as a budget officer, then became a senior specialist for budgetary and fiscal policy at the Library of Congress. In his final non-elected position, he was senior staff of the US Senate Committee on Appropriations, responsible for Medicare and Medicaid funding. Moran received his MPA from the University of Pittsburgh and his BA from College of the Holy Cross.

Jerry Zremski has served as Washington bureau chief of The Buffalo News since January 2007. A professional journalist since 1982, Zremski joined The Buffalo News in 1984 as a business reporter and has been a Washington reporter for the News since 1989. He focuses his coverage on federal issues that are particularly important to readers in Buffalo, as well as the Western New York House delegation and New York’s two senators. On top of his reporting duties, Zremski is an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Maryland. He previously taught at the George Washington University. Zremski served as president of the National Press Club in 2007 and president of the Regional Reporters Association in 1997.

About the moderator

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, the White House and federal activities that impact Georgia. Before joining the paper in January 2016, she wrote about government spending for CQ Roll Call and was an energy reporter for three years. Hallerman is the president of the Regional Reporters Association and a past secretary of the congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents. A native of Blacksburg, Va., she attended American University in Washington, D.C.

About NPCJI

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement. As the non-profit of the National Press Club, the Institute serves as a beacon for journalism in the public interest.

About RRA

The Regional Reporters Association represents newspaper and broadcast reporters who cover local and regional stories from Washington, D.C. RRA coordinates professional development seminars and exclusive briefings with newsmakers and Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, and top government officials for its members.

Contact Andie Coller, program director of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, with any questions at acoller@press.org