OLD Media Moves

Black, white and shades of gray

October 7, 2009

Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet interviewed Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman about her career and how she has covered the markets and companies during the current economic crisis.

Here is an excerpt:

How has your personal reporting strategy helped you separate yourself from the basic reporting that tends occur in financial journalism?

Liz: There is always the risk of looking at numbers and seeing black and white. I tried very hard not to do it that way. I try to see black, white, and fifty thousand shades of gray. When you look at business news, you must look at it as The Great American Story with incredible highs, debilitating lows, bankruptcy, growth, crime, punishment, drama, and success. If you lose that perspective because you’re simply looking at the balance sheet, then you’re not really being the kind of journalist I would like to be.

Everybody has a different way of doing things. What worked well for me was that I looked at the individuals who were running these companies and working there and I tried very much to tell their story as well as their cash position, why so many people were shorting the float of their stock, and why they had so much debt on the books. I wanted to know, “What’s going on there?” Am I really doing anybody a favor simply by saying five analysts have a “buy” or “hold” rating on a stock and they missed same store sales last month? I don’t think that helps many people.

When I would do local news stories and interview somebody who had lost all of their family members in a fire, I didn’t just go talk to the Fire Chief. I sat down with the homeowner and talked not about how their family died, but how their family lived. That’s how I try and look at a business story. I take all the pieces and put together a very complicated Rubix Cube. I think investors and market participants get a much better sense of a company if I find out about the jockey, not just the horse.

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.