OLD Media Moves

A South African business editor on financial journalism’s failure

September 29, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Lukanyo Mnyanda, the editor of Business Day in South Africa, writes about why business journalism has failed society.

Mnyanda writes, “Financial journalists attract criticism for their lack of investigative skills, as opposed to simply reporting on and analysing financial and other calendar events. They might, with the help of analysts, be good at analysing the financial implications of an M&A transaction that’s been announced but are less likely to come up with groundbreaking investigations of their own.

“So while the lack of accounting and forensic skills, which might otherwise have enabled them to see a Steinhoff coming, is bad enough, due to the nature of newsrooms nowadays they lack the relationships with people in companies that might give them access to potential whistle-blowers.

“News doesn’t happen in the newsroom, the saying goes. And very few potential sources of information that expose wrongdoing will share it, at potentially great personal risk, with people they don’t know. That’s not to say we should give up on journalists’ role as watchdogs. As a society we should decide how much value we place on it. Consumers demand it from journalists, but aren’t willing to pay for news.”

Read more here.

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