OLD Media Moves

Biz journalists missed subprime story

September 13, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Martin Lobel, a Washington attorney and chairman of the board of Tax Analysts, a source for journalists, write on the Nieman Watchdog site Thursday that business journalists missed the story of the unraveling of the subprime market that could easily have been told.

Martin LobelLobel wrote, “If reporters and editors had more of a sense of what their role in a democracy should be, they never would have let the subprime debacle and the economic injustices of the past six years get this far without focusing on them constantly. In the back of their mind, possibly infusing some reporting, would be the expression, ‘The greatest good for the greatest number.’

“Instead, most press coverage of economics and business could just as easily be applied to horse racing. The Dow is up. The Dow is down. So and so bought another company in a leveraged buyout. Yawn.  Is it any wonder that most readers skip those stories?

“If the press were doing its job, no one would have been surprised that our economy seems to be falling apart. Anyone who took first-year economics should have known that the economy was fragile. But who wrote the stories asking the tough questions? Where were the stories pointing out that, although corporate profits and the stock market kept rising, the middle class was losing economic ground, even though it was working harder than ever?”

Read more here. It’s damning stuff about the economy that many business journalists ignore.

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