OLD Media Moves

Nearly two-thirds of biz journalists say coverage lacking before crisis

January 8, 2009

Nearly two-thirds of business journalists recently surveyed by Abrams Research believe that their coverage could have been better leading up to the current economic crisis, reports David Bauder of the Associated Press.

Bauder writes, “The journalists questioned over the past few weeks, mostly reporters from organizations such as CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others, were promised their identities would be kept confidential in return for their opinions.

“They split almost evenly on who deserved the most blame for the crisis: 45 said banks and 44 said regulators. Only two believed that the media was mostly to blame, and nine pointed their fingers at consumers.

“Said one journalist: ‘Everyone dropped the ball. But the media does not have nearly as much blood on its hands as the financial industry and government.’

“Another reporter said that, just like in the dot-com era, basic rules of gravity were ignored. What goes up, must come down.

“‘I blame myself in part,’ one reporter said. ‘I wrote about many of the components of the bust, including the opacity of derivatives (where does the risk go?), the extremely low interest rates that fueled housing, and declining lending standards. But I failed to put it all together and see how really, really bad things would get.'”

Read more here.

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