The sign is a little dated for the 21st century. But it points to the partitioned offices of print, television and online reporters who cover state government and work under the quasi-cooperative moniker of the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association.
On Friday, our association said goodbye to one its most senior reporters, Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bumsted, 65, packed up after taking a financial buyout package offered by his company, Trib Total Media.
He really didn’t want to go, though. The thrill of the story chase still thrives in him, the pressure of deadline still drives him and the specter of corruption that hangs over the Capitol still haunts him.
But consumers’ changing media tastes, which have lowered newspaper revenue, forced him out — and Pennsylvanians will be worse off for it.
The York native began his journalism career with Gannet co. as an Allegheny County Courthouse reporter in 1977. In 1980 he started his government reporting career with the company, covering Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington, D.C politics. In 1998, the Tribune-Review hired him to cover Harrisburg.
This is a reporter who in the early 1990s hand-tabulate a Chambersburg lawmaker’s expenses and then drove in his own car to figure out the lawmaker was taking circuitous routes to the Capitol to collect extra mileage, hotel and meal reimbursements from taxpayers.
This is a reporter who in 2014 broke the story about porn emails shared among government employees and found on servers belonging to the attorney general’s office.
This is a reporter who chronicled more than a century of political corruption in two books, “Keystone Corruption” and “Keystone Corruption Continued.”
Through it all, this was a reporter who treated governors, lawmakers and other public officials with the respect their titles demanded and willingly mentored journalism interns in the summer.
In short, Bumsted was a veteran who will be missed among the dwindling number of reporters left in the Capitol.
(Originally published on The Morning Call’s Capitol Ideas blog)