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It costs an estimted $50,000 per reporter to cover the media blitz at the big political parties' national conventions, causing some to wonder why coverage is so expensive. Short answer? Journalists with news organizations perceived as legitimate are members of unions and therefore have collectively bargained contracts which provide for accommodations — instead of relegating them to friends' couches. If Google offered bloggers beds and balanced meals instead of candy buffets and Wi-Fi, the search engine just might be able to command the same level of kowtowing obsequiousness America's political parties get from the well-rested mainstream press. [Podcasting News]