OLD Media Moves

Just one Pulitzer for business journalism this year

April 20, 2009

There was just one business journalism story among the Pulitzer Prizes announced Monday afternoon, but none for the big business journalism stories of the past year.

John Carney of The Business Insider’s Clusterstock still notes that the quality of coverage has improved.

Carney writes, “Obviously, the world is very focused on the state of the economy and the financial sector there days. But financial journalists have mostly come in for criticism for their alleged failure to warn of the disaster before it hit. In our opinion, most of this is critique is badly misplaced.

  • The housing bubble got a lot of attention from journalists for years.Â
  • Journalists shouldn’t be expected to be better than most other market watchers at predicting financial calamities.
  • It’s attributing too much power to journalism to expect that if journalists had sounded the alarm bell, the catastrophe might have been avoided.

“That said, financial journalists have’t performed as well as we might want them to, either before this crisis or during it. If they were doing a perfect job, there probably wouldn’t be a market for start-up blogs like Clusterstock or all our other friends and competitors across the burgeoning financial blogosphere.

“Last year, financial journalism was all but shut-out of the Pultizer prizes. Only one financial journalist, Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post, won an award. And it was in commentary. We tend to think that this was a bit of punishment for the crazed backdating scandal hysteria, which took the Public Service Pulitzer — often considered the top prize — in 2007.  That turned out to be the Non-Story Of the Century, and perhaps the Pulitzer committee decided to just avoid the whole field.”

Read more here.

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