Stories to start the day

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1) The Washington Post has a series of stories and an infographic on the financial disclosures recently filed by lawmakers in Congress. The disclosures show that lawmakers regularly hold and trade investments in companies that fall under the oversight of committees on which the lawmakers sit. Lawmakers are also unwilling to apply the kind of timely disclosure to themselves that they require of others. And a neat infographic of lawmaker stock holdings.

2) Walter Shapiro covers the death of local political reporting and how it is already effecting the 2010 elections. Having spent weeks of my life reading old articles in Nexis from local newspapers on their members of Congress, this quote is disheartening to say the least, “The gradual abandonment of on-the-ground campaign coverage means that polls are fast becoming the only way to glimpse voter sentiment. Since most polls in statewide races (particularly primaries) are automated short-answer surveys, it becomes easy to jump to blunderbuss conclusions like “all incumbents are imperiled” or “the Tea Party movement is all-powerful.”

3) Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is studying ways to save journalism. As with many other studies, this effort can be summed up by this quote from the director of the commission’s studies Susan DeSanti, “Nobody knows exactly where this is going to end up, and nobody really knows at what point we are in this transition.”

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