OLD Media Moves

The best of times, and the worst of times, in financial journalism

June 16, 2020

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Will Lewis

Former boss of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal Will Lewis, and ex-Financial Times editor Lionel Barber talked financial journalism, reports Press Gazette.

Both executives spoke via video conference organized by the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation.

Lewis says:

“We have to get people to tighten up. Because the world needs facts now more than ever before at the very time that the supply of those facts is most challenged. And for those of us that have given our professional lives to the belief that facts trump everything, this is a very challenging time.”

When looking at it from the view point of financial journalism in light of the pandemic, Barber says we are in the “best of times and the worst of times for financial journalism.” He further added:

“The best of times because the story of how the world economies, national economies, financial markets have been affected by Covid-19 – and the impact on industry and business – is just a great story. We thought that the 2008 financial crisis was a huge story, the best in two generations maybe, but this one in many ways is even more complicated and even more challenging. But a great one for journalists… So in journalistic terms, great.

“But the worst of times is clearly the economic impact, and what it’s doing to revenues. [It’s] just taken away a huge slice of news orgaisations’ revenues in terms of advertising, but also corporate sponsorship, conferences, et cetera. So that’s a very, very big challenge.

“It’s turbocharging the internet. It’s turbocharging digital journalism – and I think probably putting a question mark over the print publication. Not necessarily at the weekend, which is a different experience. But during the week, I’m not so sure.”

Lewis added:

“What we thought was going to unfold over five to ten years is unfolding over five to ten months. And actually possibly five to ten weeks – it’s that profound a moment.”

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