OLD Media Moves

Examining biz media's role

March 8, 2009

David Folkenflik, the media correspondent for National Public Radio, takes a look at whether the business news media did a good job of warning consumers about the economic crisis before it happened.

Folkenflik writes, “I tried to look at the media’s performance in a couple of ways, inspired by suggestions from Starkman and others. I looked particularly at The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC and the three big financial newsmagazines (Fortune, Forbes and BusinessWeek), though I don’t pretend the review was completely comprehensive.

“I found the weight of coverage fixated on executive suite intrigue and outsize corporate personalities, especially in the magazines’ cover stories. In addition, news outlets, like the rest of the country, often focused on the vagaries of the stock market, as hedge funds and retirement funds seemed to soar in unison. Dissonant voices about the vulnerabilities of the system were heard on CNBC and in print, but they were largely swept aside as part of a greater conversation about how to keep investing.

“‘So, as long as the stock market is going up, people don’t really pay attention to a lot of other things,’ says Gretchen Morgenson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist for The New York Times.”:

Read more here.

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