Reporting resources are stretched thin in many places, and judging by this week’s survey results, sequester coverage may not be drawing many web hits. But news organizations that do not report, in ways meaningful to their audience, what will happen before the budget cuts occur may find that if and when they do take place, the public’s nonchalance will turn into distrust—and perhaps even a turning away from the journalists who failed to tell them what was coming.

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David Cay Johnston covers fiscal and budget matters for CJR’s United States Project. He is a reporter with 46 years of experience, including 13 at The New York Times; a columnist for Tax Analysts; teaches tax and regulatory law at Syracuse University Law School; and is president of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE). Follow him on Twitter @DavidCayJ.