Media Moves

How the media covers inflation and the economy affects families

November 19, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Isaac Bailey writes for Nieman Reports about the impact of media coverage about the economy and inflation affects families.

Bailey writes, “How the media frames such stories, what context we include and what we don’t, matters greatly. It affects the shape of policies that are potentially transformative for families feeling the pinch of inflation in an age of high inequality.

“The New York Times recently published a news analysis under this headline: ‘Americans are flush with cash and jobs. They also think the economy is awful.’ It explains that disconnect by concluding it is the result of ‘the psychological effects of inflation.’

“I suspect that has something to do with it, as does a hyper-partisanship that colors our perceptions of just about everything. It’s also a function of how the media explains what a 6.2 percent rise in consumer prices means in an economy that has produced an 11 percent income increase for restaurant workers, and frames aggressive governmental policies first designed to get us through the Covid-19 shock and now to shore up the safety net. Our economic reporting must accurately portray macro and micro realities and how they influence each other. Some families are experiencing a net loss of overall household income, while others have experienced a net gain. When we fail to explain that, no wonder our audiences are more likely to miss the forest for the trees.”

Read more here.

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