OLD Media Moves

U.S. News editor asks for reader feedback on coverage economic crisis

October 7, 2008

Brian Kelly, the editor of U.S. News & World Report, writes in the latest issue that he wants comments from readers about whether the media — and his magazine — did a good enough job in seeking the coming of the current economic crisis.

Brian KellyKelly writes, “Which is not to say that we haven’t been writing about the unraveling housing and financial markets for quite a while. U.S. News has always been more about Main Street than Wall Street, so it came naturally to view the highfliers with a skeptical eye going back years. We took a hard look at the shaky structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in June 2003—and concluded that meaningful reform was unlikely.

“In his column, Mort Zuckerman started sending up caution flares about the dangers of falling home prices and an overleveraged financial sector starting in May 2006. Since the summer of 2007, we’ve been all over the story, culminating in our cover this past March ‘Why the Housing Crisis Is Bigger Than You Think.’

“Yet it’s fair to ask if we, and our colleagues in the media, did enough soon enough. Lots of stories get written every week, but were we making it clear that something truly unusual was building? And what about reinforcing the common-sense notion that markets do not rise forever? Of course, if you give us the benefit of the doubt and think we hit the right notes, did any of the warnings even matter?

Read more here.

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