OLD Media Moves

Ledbetter: Media has failed in covering the economy

September 15, 2008

James Ledbetter, the editor of Slate’s Big Money site, writes in introducing the new venture that one of the reasons it’s being started is that other media haven’t done a good job in covering the economy.

Ledbetter writes, “Yet trying to follow the economy via traditional media can be confusing. In too many news stories, fundamental issues go unaddressed and fundamental questions go unasked. Lots of questionable assumptions—about the meaning of statistics, about the untrammeled virtues of free markets—inform not only the opinions offered but the way stories are shaped.

“In the tradition of our sibling site Slate, The Big Money seeks to puncture the assumptions, challenge conventional wisdom, and offer insights into the workings of business, economics, and finance that readers rarely find elsewhere. True to our name, we want to focus on all important aspects of money and economics without getting bogged down in arcane statistics or impenetrable jargon. Our goal is to extend the idea of business journalism into areas of our lives that aren’t always treated as business stories: the environment, technology, media, and the workplace.

“That’s why our two bloggers are covering Google and the food business. Yes, we want harried Wall Street traders to find wisdom here, but, equally, we hope people will enjoy The Big Money’s stories even if they haven’t traditionally thought of themselves as business-news readers.

“In addition, our goal is to apply some of the unique, powerful capabilities of the Internet to the world of financial journalism. So in addition to timely analysis and provocative opinion, The Big Money offers one-of-a-kind Web tools designed to inform readers and bring them into the process.”

Read more here.

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