OLD Media Moves

Why no one won a Pulitzer for covering the financial crisis

April 23, 2009

Andrea Chalupa writes on BloggingStocks.com about why no stories about the economic meltdown were awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Chalupa writes, “The reason why no financial reporter pointed out that the emperor has no clothes on is because we thought that’s how the system worked best — everyone making easy money. And some of these things, like CDOs, are just too complicated and unsexy to report on. We stuck to the flashy stuff and figured the world was allowed to have masters of the universe, until they came crashing down, taking everyone else with them.

“Even last night’s panelist, Erin Arvedlund, who first questioned Bernie Madoff’s record in 2001 in Barrons, failed to stay on top of the story. She opened the panel by saying she deeply regrets this now, but also, it must be pointed out, her reporting fell on deaf ears. What should we do, continue to push the story, report on it again and again, Diana Henriques, senior financial writer of the New York Times, asked the panel. Panelist Jon Friedman, who writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com, answered, yes. ‘If you do that you don’t work for the same editors I work for,’ Henriques grumbled.

“The winners for the Pulitzer Prize were announced on Monday and not a single financial reporter scored one, because they were blindsided by the biggest story in over a generation. That’s what opened last night’s panel — ten painful minutes pondering why no one in finance won when they had the biggest story. Ugh. Maybe its time for financial writers to take a hint from the Huffington Posts of the world and make advocacy the foundation of their reporting, not getting seduced by corporate jet rides and hedge fund receptions, or overwhelmed by the complexity and vastness of it all.”

Read more here.

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