OLD Media Moves

The importance of biz journalism during a time of crisis

October 31, 2009

New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera, who wrote his last column for the paper Saturday until next year because of a book leave, blogs about the importance of business journalism during crisis situations.

Nocera writes, “As for my column this week, it’s a bit of a grab bag, a brief look at four different topics that I never got around to developing as full-fledged columns, though they were all worthy subjects. Had I had room for a fifth topic, I would have made remarked on the splendid article on the Bloomberg wire earlier this week about decision by the New York Federal Reserve to pay the A.I.G. counterparties 100 cents on the dollar. (You can read it here, as well as a follow-up in The Washington Post here.)

“The stories are a good reminder about how important the business media has become during and after this crisis. In the 1930s, most of the revelations that led to serious financial reform came out of the Pecora Commission, which conducted a two-year investigation into Wall Street’s shady practices. This time, there is no Pecora Commission, and Congress has been so busy railing at, among other things, Wall Street bonuses that it can’t seem to find the time to do the kind of serious investigation that desperately needs to be done. Thank goodness the media is still robust enough to take on that role. But with its financial decline — just this week The Wall Street Journal closed down its legendary Boston bureau — one wonders how long that will be the case.

“As I note in my column, I am about to take a lengthy leave to write a book about the financial crisis. I don’t expect to be writing columns during that time, and though I may continue to blog, it will be on a highly irregular basis. I’ll be back as soon as I write ‘The End’ — in the spring at the latest. Wish me luck.”

Read more here.

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