OLD Media Moves

The Empty Tank takes a shot at business journalists

November 16, 2005

It only took until page six of The Empty Tank, the book I mentioned on Sunday, for the author to take a shot at business journalists for downplaying the problems with the supply of oil and gas on the planet.

“Most business journalists” are lumped together with “almost all oil companies, governments and their agencies, most financial analysts” as groups who believe that oil reserves will not top out until around 2030. In other words, the implication is that business journalists are accepting the party line from the companies and analysts.

If you’re wondering who is in the more pessimistic group, which believes that oil reserves are about half of what the other group is estimating, it includes “mostly people who have worked in the heart of the oil industry, the majority of them geologists.” The author added, “They are joined by a small but growing number of analysts and journalists.”

I’ve never seen any sort of critical analysis of how business journalism covers the oil and gas industry. But the field has definitely spent a lot more time this year covering the companies in the field due to the rising costs of a barrel of oil. In addition, the industry has been criticized, particularly after the recent Congressional testimony and ExxonMobil’s record profits.

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