Media Moves

Depression forecasted by biz media never happened

January 18, 2007

A study by the Business & Media Institute on 2006 coverage notes that many business media outlets forecast a recession or a depression that never happened.

Media MythThe study found: “ABC, CBS and NBC referenced the Great Depression or suggested that recession was on the horizon a total of 49 times in 2006. Depression and recession were also mentioned in a historical context 28 more times. That wasn’t all:

Good Economy or Great Depression?: Journalists used stories as diverse as savings rates and climate change to evoke images from America’s worst economic catastrophe.

Or Maybe It’s a Recession? Network reports included warnings about interest rates, high oil prices, global warming, a slowing housing market, and terrorism that all could lead to a recession.

Consistently Negative: The networks averaged almost one story per week that included references to an economic collapse either by recession or depression (49 times).”

Later, Julia Seymour wrote, “An analysis of all ABC, CBS and NBC reports for 2006 found 77 stories that mentioned an economic recession or depression. Of those, 49 of the stories were about the 2006 economy. The media predicted a 2006 recession, and when that didn’t happen they predicted a 2007 recession. Reports warned of recession or depression caused by a litany of factors: ‘high oil prices,’ climate change, the cooling of ‘a once scorching housing market,’ a terrorist act or interest rate hikes.

“The difference between the actual economy and perception of a recession was explained by Mary Matalin, a former assistant to the president, in an April 20, 2006, interview. ‘There is a disconnect between what is a robust economy, and people saying they’re better off today than they were four years ago but thinking we’re in a recession,’ said Matalin during ‘The Early Show’ on CBS.”

Read more here.

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