OLD Media Moves

Did the biz press do its job in 2009?

December 27, 2009

At the end of his CNN “Crossfire” show on Sunday, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz and panelists Bill Press, Chris Stirewalt and Jessica Yellin about how the media performed in 2009, including business news coverage.

Here is an excerpt:

YELLIN: And they’re doing it still in some ways — all of the media collectively — by continuing to cover Wall Street right now as if it’s the measure — the barometer of what’s going on in the economy when we know it’s not. But again complicated to get down to the brass tacks.

STIREWALT: And yes. And a — and a reporter who said, “I want to expose Fannie Mae for recklessly inflating a housing bubble.” That’s a politically charged story. That’s — that’s — that’s not just on its face Tiger Woods.

STIREWALT: That’s a politically charged story.

KURTZ: It’s bringing bad news at a time when the Dow is hitting 14,000. And so there is some pressure on you not to do that. It’s complicated. And there were some financial columnists and reporters who did get pieces of this. And they often ran inside the financial section. They didn’t run on the front page. They certainly didn’t run on the network news.

PRESS: No. That’s right.

KURTZ: And I think that’s part of the collective failure as well just briefly.

YELLIN: Even then we covered the AIG bonuses breathlessly. But right now financial regulatory reform got almost no coverage.

PRESS: And that’s — and the thing is we are back to business as usual, and nobody’s talking about it.

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