Financial journalists: More information disseminators than watchdogs
Financial journalists think of themselves as watchdogs but act more like information disseminators, according to a study from a researcher at the University of Amsterdam.
Nadine Strauss of the University of Amsterdam interviewed 22 experts and surveyed 40 business journalists in the United States and found that the “active watchdog role for financial journalists has increasingly become an idealistic conception that can no longer be harmonized with today’s editorial offices.”
Strauss argues for a reassessment of the role of business journalists that aligns the watchdog role with the role as an educator and informant.
“In this vein, the watchdog role would not only entail investigative reporting, aimed at uncovering fraud and misconduct in the corporate and financial sector, but it would also encompass the information transmission part in securing a fair, objective, and accurate representation of the market that is also accessible to the average citizen,” she wrote.
Strauss notes that the dismissal of older and more experienced journalists, the rise of more freelance financial journalists, and a cutback in editorial jobs has meant that financial journalism is at a crossroads.
“There is also hope that recent developments in automated reporting might give journalists more leeway to live up to their desired active watchdog role in the future, having more time at disposal for investigative reporting,” she wrote.
The study can be found here.