Another day, another Tampa Bay Times reporter — this time, David DeCamp — become gov’t spokesperson

By on March 12, 2012

Top-notch local reporter David DeCamp is leaving the Tampa Bay Times to become communications director for Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown.

DeCamp covered the local politics beat for the Jacksonville Times-Union from 2000 to 2006.

I am going to be very honest here and say I will truly miss David as much any reporter at the Times.  He was ridiculously fair to me, yet an ardent defender of journalism, especially the brand practiced by the Times.

Still, I am, as usual, seriously perplexed at what will happen to the local political coverage offered by the Times.  It was already increasingly bare-bones and that was before St. Petersburg City Hall reporter Michael Van Sickler segued into additional editorial responsibilities and a stint of reporting from Tallahassee.

Now, DeCamp, who had been covering county government, is leaving.  He follows the recent departure of Rita Farlow, who covered the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office.  In other words, the two reporters most responsible for covering Pinellas County are no longer with the Tampa Bay Times.

Also, DeCamp was one of the very few Times reporters who actually posted on what remains of the Bay Buzz, the newspaper’s blog supposedly about local politics.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention something about how this is the 1,077th, give or take, Times employee to leave the newspaper for a job as a government spokesperson.  The list of recent such departures includes Farlow, Tom Scherberger, Janet Zink, etc., etc.  It’s getting to the point where I suspect the Times human resources department has some sort of job placement program.

Anyway, good luck to you, David.

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