Media Moves

Nader: Lack of consumer coverage in biz sections is disturbing

April 7, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader

Activist Ralph Nader writes about the decline of stories covering consumer issues in newspaper business sections.

Nader writes, “What is disturbing is that the major newspapers — the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal — are cutting back reporting on the revelations and doings of active consumers, and consumer organizations. Sure, they do occasional features that may gain them big journalism prizes. But the regular coverage of very important consumer struggles with Congress, the White House, the courts, and the state legislatures has vastly shrunken. Moreover, the media, especially TV, is dittoheading itself with the daily ‘big story’, as with the Trumpian escapades.

“Serious readers are left with the New York Times daily Business pages (the Washington Post dropped its separate, daily business section a few years ago). Of late, the editors of the Times business section have been diluting its contents with what two former reporters called a more ‘business friendly’ priority. My attempts to discuss this problem with their news editors have not been answered.

“Last Sunday I picked up the weighty Sunday New York Times and went to the business page (business is often defined as stories about sellers, when it should include buyers and consumers).  The cover page featured a huge photograph and article titled: ‘Tiger Is Back, Will Sponsors Follow?”’

“This article—straining for justification—proceeded to sprawl over another half page or more inside. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods hasn’t even won a single championship on his asserted comeback. This is not the first time that the business page has attempted to entertain readers with inflated articles that evoke the reader’s quizzical response—’what’s this all about?'”

Read more here.

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