OLD Media Moves

The importance of quality business journalism

October 9, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Pat Wenstrom and Chuck Wenstrom write for the Freeport Journal-Standard in Illinois about the importance of quality business journalism.

The Wenstroms write, “One consequence of the change is the decline in labor coverage and the increase in business articles. The authors say that the labor beat was once an important beat in large or mid-sized papers. But by the 1990s it had more or less ceased to exist. In fact, coverage of labor issues “shifted from an emphasis on workers to a focus on how labor management conflicts affected ‘upscale’ consumers.”

“The effects of this might be seen if we look at public attitudes toward unions. A Pew poll taken in February 2011 showed that 41 percent of the public had an unfavorable opinion of unions.
“In Wisconsin, during the demonstrations against Gov. Scott Walker, a Pew poll showed that when people were presented with potential state level cuts, the most popular option was “rolling back public workers’ benefits.”

Although most sources point to the state of the economy as a reason for public distrust of unions and predict a rise in their popularity when the economy improves, it would seem that the lack of labor coverage and increased articles geared to the business community in major newspapers have had an effect.”

Read more here.

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