OLD Media Moves

Should business journalism only focus on investment opportunities?

November 12, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Freelance business journalist Karen K. Ho talked with Bloomberg News reporter Jordyn Holman, who covers gender, race and class in the business world, and Columbia University professor Bill Grueskin about how a lot of business news is produced for the investment community and doesn’t discuss issues that affect society.

They talked on the CanadaLand podcast.

The conversation was sparked by the CBC, which recently tweeted that the election in Brazil of president Jair Bolsonaro offered “fresh opportunities for Canadian companies looking to invest in the resource-rich country” without mentioning his sexism, homophobia and interest in becoming a dictatorship.

The tweet was heavily criticized because it only focused on investment opportunities.

“As someone who has spent most of her career writing and reporting about business, I was struck by how many people reacted so strongly, including other journalists,” said Ho.

“This kind of quick analysis, which focus on investment opportunities and features very little to no commentary on social and environmental concerns, is common,” added Ho.

Ho noted that business journalism should operate as covering the world through the lens of money. And it’s primarily funded by investors and big Wall Street firms.

Business journalism remains one of the few areas in the industry that continues to hire and make money and pay well, added Ho.

“Consumers of business news have a willingness to pay for that kind of news that goes beyond any other kind of news,” said Grueskin.

However, he noted that the best business news media outlets are those who also cover the societal impact of business.

“There is some news that investors will really want,” said Holmyn. “But I am on a team that is more consumer facing.”

She noted that there is an expanding idea of what business news consumers want that goes beyond what they can make on a trade.

To listen, go here.

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