Media News

NY Times reporter Gelles: Biz journalism lionizes CEOs, companies

May 31, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

David Gelles

Anand Giridharadas of The Ink interviewed New York Times reporter David Gelles about his new book “The Man who Broke Capitalism,” and part of the discussion was about business journalism’s failures.

Here is an excerpt:

How do you think those two narratives are present in this failure of business journalism that we’re talking about?

On the first narrative, I’ve been at The New York Times for almost 10 years now. I was at The Financial Times before that. I have not experienced that pressure personally.

On the second narrative, I think there’s probably a lot of truth to that. And it’s reflective of my own journey, which is that I came into the business world, I was enthralled by the amazing things businesses could do, including the creation of astonishing goods and services. I was enraptured by the heroic journeys that many entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs seem to go on. I think the way we lionize them and make them the heroes of our age speaks to this hunger that we as humans have for great narrative arcs. They’ve been symbolic of this quintessential patriotic success story that is so tightly intertwined with our national identity.

Against that backdrop, I don’t think it’s surprising that so many people and business journalists have had a hard time getting out of Plato’s cave, seeing past the shadows, and understanding the truth of what’s going on. While businesses do create lots of valuable products and services, this is an economic system that rewards the few at the expense of the great many. That’s the system Welch helped create, and it’s one I hope we might be able to change.

To read more, go here.

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