Matthew Fraser on financial journalism

25 05 2009

Cash, Crises and Journalism was the title of a session at last week’s Journalism in Crisis conference at the University of Westminster. One of the participants was Matthew Fraser and he had this to say about financial journalism.

1 – Competitive pressures for scoops. In the modern media environment, journalists are just too busy to do off diary features like the potential state of the economy.
2 – Lack of professional training among business journalists, with most of them coming from Oxbridge but not having any financial experience.
3 – Business journalists simply have short memories, like everybody else, and failed to see the signs of the oncoming crisis.
4 – “Implicitly, everybody in the industry knows that business journalists don’t rock the boat of the audience with their careers”.
5 – Finally, many journalists were cheerleaders for the businesses, were having a great time in the club and simply had no interest in raising the alarm.

source: Westminster News Online




2 responses

25 05 2009

Short memories maybe, but short forward-looking time horizons too. Most journalists are not encouraged or rewarded for looking any further ahead than a week or two.

25 05 2009
Tom Van Hout

Good point, Bill. There is definitely something to be said for the productivity in newsrooms. That is exactly the reason why many journalists feel they have become news processors instead of news generators.

That being said, if journalism continues to pride itself on its public service role – exposing wrong doing, providing unbiased information, mobilizing the public – then this idea is not supported by financial journalism’s weak investigative track record.

Thanks for your comment,

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