OLD Media Moves

New economics and journalism class at Berkeley

January 18, 2006

It will be called “Covering the Economy: The Story Behind the Numbers,” and a semi-final syllabus can be found here.

The course will be taught by Brad DeLong, an economics professor at UC Berkeley and formerly Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, and Susan Rasky, a former New York Times reporter.

Here is what Brad DeLong and Susan Rasky say about the class: “We both start with this premise: Nobody goes into journalism to write bad stories that mislead their readers and omit or downplay the important news of the events that they are covering. Journalists, especially daily journalists have a very difficult job. They are under ferocious deadline pressure. They are beat reporters–which means that they cannot afford to alienate their sources too far, for they have to go back to them again and again. They are dealing with complicated and subtle issues. And at least half the people they talk to are telling them subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) lies.”

It’s the first class I’ve seen where an economist has teamed up with a journalist to teach economics reporting. I am impressed with the syllabus and what they hope to accomplish.

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