Real estate coverage: Negative news, or PR spin?
Eugene Meyer of Real Estate Magazine takes a look Wednesday at whether the business media has been overly negative in covering the real estate market.
Meyer wrote, “The lead paragraph on the National Association of Realtorsâ€™ Nov. 21 release reported that home sales prices actually rose in most metropolitan markets. The Associated Press lead, however, emphasized the negative statistic that the number of home sales had fallen in 46 states during the third quarter. Both were correct.
“The contrasting reports of NAR and the AP, gleaned from the same press release, reflect a fundamental divide between the real estate industry and the news business. Reporters and editors think the industry is out to spin the numbers to put a smiley face on a grim situation. Their function, as they see it, is to present the facts without such spin.
“But which facts matter? By choosing one important set of data over another, the AP story painted a different, gloomier picture in the public mind, and that, industry critics say, can have dire consequences for the market and the economy in general.
“‘The biggest problem today is out-of-context reporting,’ says NAR spokesman Walter Molony. ‘We have no issues with essential reporting of negative data. But when the media goes out of its way to find the most negative things to say about a statistical report, theyâ€™re creating fear that actually impacts the market.'”
Read more here.