OLD Media Moves

The reporting of buying and selling

March 12, 2009

John Doyle of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes Thursday about what makes business news on television — in the wake of the Jon Stewart smackdown of CNBC – so unique.

Doyle writes, “All-business television and business news segments had to create their own iconography, mainly because business news is essentially boring and difficult to illustrate. The natural, real-world imagery of business TV is footage of some machine stamping loonies or churning out $20 bills. The only alternative is a tracking shot of shirt-sleeved traders talking on the phone and staring at computer screens. That’s not going to keep viewers watching until the commercial break.

“One tactic, used in the U.S. and Canada, was to employ attractive women to deliver financial news. Sleek female reporters were everywhere for a while. But even that grew tired. The central tactic was to turn the business world into a fantasy place where everything was positive, all the time. Money could be made all day, every day, every day of the week, forever and ever.

“That ended badly, as we all know by now. What CNBC did, over and over, was cheer on the corporate madness, from the huge bonuses paid to executives to the deregulation that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. I have no idea how the spat between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer will play out tonight. But mocking is hardly the appropriate penalty for these people. They deserve a lot worse.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.