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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Learning about State Politics: Good News and Bad

In a letter to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Chris W. Bonneau and Kristin Kanthak, co-editors of  State Politics and Policy Quarterly (SPPQ), discuss the academic study of state politics:
SPPQ published its first issue in 2001, so it is a relatively new journal. Its purpose is to publish high quality original research on the politics of the states — both in the U.S. and in other countries. The circulation of the journal is about 9,000 and the acceptance rate hovers around 20%, depending on the year. In 2018, we exceeded 25,000 downloads of our articles. Recently, we received our highest impact factor ever of 1,675, with a 5-year impact factor of 1.645, This ranks us 70th in political science out of 176 ranked journals. This also puts us ahead of more well established journals such as Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, and American Politics Research. We are not throwing shade at those journals — they all publish excellent work, and even publish some okay work we have written ourselves. But no one would claim that there is a dearth of research on topics like American politics or legislative politics.
SPPQ is also not the only place scholars of state politics publish their work. As mentioned in the original article, there is also State and Local Government Review and Publius. But wait, there’s more! And you may want to sit down for this one. Scholars of state politics publish their work in journals of broad, general interest as well.
From Governing
Governing magazine has told important stories for over three decades. Stories from and about state and local government – what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called America’s laboratories of democracy.

So it is with a very heavy heart that we’re announcing that Governing will be discontinuing publication this fall. For the past several years, Governing and our parent company, e.Republic, have made continued investments in the magazine, in and in the numerous events we host throughout the country. Ultimately, however, Governing has proven to be unsustainable as a business in today’s media environment. We will cease publication of the monthly print magazine after September, and we will be ramping down our web presence and the rest of our operations over the next few months.
George Skelton at LAT:
Cable TV — specifically its California Channel — has been the public’s eyes and ears on Capitol sausage-making for more than two decades.
But now the cable industry, which is the Cal Channel’s sole financier, is pulling the plug on this cheap, mini-version of national C-SPAN.
Cal Channel has announced it will go black on Oct. 16. That will make it even more difficult for interested citizens to keep tabs on what their elected representatives are doing in Sacramento — how they’re spending tax dollars and making decisions about all sorts of issues including welfare, water, higher education and homelessness.

It’s coming at a time of declining news media coverage of the state Capitol. There hasn’t been a full-time TV reporter here in years. Newspaper staffs have dramatically declined.