OLD Media Moves

CJR's Audit needs to come clean about past

April 24, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Forbes.com columnist Gary Weiss writes that it’s nice that the Columbia Journalism Review blog The Audit has praised the Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series about backdating of stock options. But the blog — under a different writer — needs to admit that it criticized the articles when they first appeared.

Gary WeissWeiss wrote, “Reading the above, you’d never know that the Audit was actually a major voice against the options backdating coverage when it really mattered–when the Journal was sticking its neck out by publishing those stories. It is a low-risk proposition to praise a series that just got a Pulitzer, and gratuitous (and fairly meaningless) to pile on with 20-20 hindsight after the champagne has flowed.

“The Audit’s two articles on the backdating coverage (here and here) were notable in that they were not the slightest bit well-informed. I was sympathetic with the Audit’s view the options coverage was a bit “overblown,” yet the articles seemed naive and ill-informed in the extreme. I chastised the Audit for its coverage (see here and here), as did University of California economics professor Brad DeLong.

“There’s nothing wrong with being off-base now and then. But this was not an isolated event. The Audit, under its former editor, made a series of embarrassing goofs on a number of subjects.”

Read more here.

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