OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg, the Fed and Pulitzers

April 26, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

David Warsh, the founder of Economic Principals, writes about how the Pulitzer Prizes did not hand out an award for editorial writing this year and whether Bloomberg News‘ battle with the Federal Reserve to release documents would have been worthy.

Warsh writes, “Bloomberg responded with a lengthy defense of its reporting, and the issue faded from view – until last week, when “’The Trillion Dollar Secret’ didn’t turn up among the finalists in any of the Pulitzer awards. A Bloomberg spokesman declined to say whether the series had been submitted.

“(None of the ruckus discouraged Dylan Ratigan, a talk show host for MSNBC, or the Huffington Post: both chimed in in January with FOIA requests of their own for transcripts of Federal Open Market Committee meetings during the crisis. Last week MSNBC reported that the Fed had posted on its website in early March some 7,000 pages of documents, covering the period from 2007-2010 – with all but the pleasantries redacted. It was another episode in what the WSJ termed ‘the long running battle over Fed transparency.’ The central bank releases full transcripts with a five-year lag.)

“One way to think of Bloomberg vs. the Fed is as a contest between representatives of two polar temperaments of present-day journalism – populist skepticism and civic involvement – as personified by Mark Pittman, the Bloomberg investigative reporter who filed a Freedom of Information Act request, and John M. Berry, the long-time Fed-watcher, who wrote the story up for International Economy. The remarkable thing is that, until Berry quit in in the spring of 2009, both men were employed by Bloomberg.”

Read more here.

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