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ECONOMICS OF JOURNALISM

An Uneasy MarriageJOURNALISM & ECONOMICSUNDERSTANDING THE ECONOMY

SUMMER 2010

EMILY DRESSARSTEPHEN DAVIS

The RiftEconomics and Journalism collide

Stewart vs. Cramer

Famous analyst call"You know, you are the only financial institution that can't produce a balance sheet or a cash flow statement with their earnings," Grubman said. Skilling, laughing, shot back, "Thank you very much, we appreciate it ... asshole."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt-fb7IQ4Ko

2Whos covering the economy?The industry leadersWall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Financial TimesFox News, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg TVThe Economist, Forbes, Barrons, Financial Times

And the bloggersMajor Media BlogsThe blogs supported by major media outlets:

David Geffen at WSJ.com,Fortune.coms Apple 2.0 blogBusinesWeek.coms Fine on MediaBloggingStocks at AOLMarketBeat at WSJ.comPaul La Monica at CNN MoneyIndependent Blogs24/7 wall streetwww.calculatedriskblog.compaul.kedrosky.comseekingalpha.comDailyreckoning.comGlobalEconomonitor.com (Roubini)

What are they covering? Pew Research Centers Project for Excellence in Journalism

The Highs and LowsPew Research Centers Project for Excellence in Journalism

After accounting for 46% of the overall news coverage in February and March coverage of the economic crisis dropped by more than half

And in July and August, it fell even further (to 16%). The clearest example came in cable news. Once the political battles subsided, coverage fell by about two-thirds from March to April.

A Typical Story: Banking, New York, ObamaTop three stories: efforts to help revive the banking sector, the battle over the stimulus package and the struggles of the U.S. auto industryAt the bottom: all reporting of retail sales, food prices, the impact of the crisis on Social Security and Medicare, its effect on education and the implications for health care combined accounted = 2% of economic coverage. Driving coverage: Actions by government officials and business leaders drove much of the coverage. The White House and federal agencies alone initiated nearly a third (32%) of economic stories studied through July 3. Business triggered another 21%. About a quarter of the stories (23%) was initiated by the press itself and did not rely on an external news trigger.Not driving coverage: Ordinary citizens, union workers = 2% of the stories Dateline: New York City Fully 76% of the datelines on economic stories studied during the first five months of the Obama presidency were New York (44%) or metro Washington D.C. (32%). Only about one-fifth (21%) of the stories originated in any other city in the U.S. Whos quoted: When it came to which phrases and ideas reverberated most in a broad array of media, an analysis of some 1.6 million news websites, blogs and other online sources finds that the president dominated. Nine of the top 20 most-quoted phrases came from him.

The Business ModelMedia companies owned the news processNews was expensive to produceThe payoff was profitableSold 2 things- advertising and audienceMonopoly on the process

The Internet breaks the barrier to entry and media companies lose exclusivity of audience and contentLOCAL NEWS EFFORT FINANCIAL CRISIS

WELL DEFINED TARGET FOR COVERAGECORE SAVVY BUSINESS READERTARGET IS INTEREST OVER DEMOGRAPHIC

NEWSPAPER BREAKS STORIES

5 BILLION DOLLAR DEBT FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

RESULT IS MAJOR FINANCIAL OUTLETS PICK UP STORIES

LOCAL WATCHDOGLOCAL STORIES HAVE NATIONAL IMPACT

SOURCE FOR BLOOMBERGSOURCE FOR WSJ

CONCENTRATED TEAM EFFORT WITH GOVERNMENT REPORTERS CONTRIBUTING WITH BUSINESS REPORTERSLESS RELIANCE ON NEWS WIRESNATIONAL STORIES USED AS CONTEXT TO LOCAL COVERAGEAUTHORITATIVE SOURCE FOR READERS

SOURCE CHUCK CLARK/MANAGING EDITORBIRMINGHAM NEWS STAFF

MAJOR BENEFITS OF NEWHOUSE OWNERSHIPTHIS COMPANY WIDE OUTLOOK PRESERVES THE QUALITY OF THE NEWSPAPER.

COMMITMENT KEEPS OWNERS FROM TAKING EASY ROUTE TO GETTING PAPER OUT EACH DAY.

THIS HAS ALLOWED EXPANDED COVERAGE AND CONTENT.

PROVIDES COMMUNITY WITH A STABLE NEWSPAPER AND HELPS RECRUIT UPCOMING JOURNALISTSMAJOR REASON FOR SUCCESS WE ARE A PRIVATELY HELD COMPANY THAT GOES BEYOND A ONE QUARTER HORIZON.

SOURCE- CHUCK CLARK/MANAGING EDITOR, BIRMINGHAM NEWS

Whos impacting financial journalism?Other News LeadersRobert Peston, BBC business editor.For many months I was very concerned about the explosive growth of CDOs and I tried to explain them through my reporting. Doing so was a challenge, when even bankers creating the CDOs were unable to describe them in terms that make sense to non-specialists.

Matt Taibbi, Chief Political Reporter for Rolling Stone

Michael Lewis, author, The Big Short Has been called the best piece of financial journalism ever written.

Wall Street Journal news team: The Financial Crisis: The Weekend That Wall Street Died 10-article series produced by 15 reporters won the Institute on Political Journalism's prestigious Excellence in Economic Reporting Award for 2009. Coverage was detailed, dramatic, precise and contained too many revelations to count, said the judges

Obscure, clubby and unhelpfulFinance writers and bloggers are often willfully obscure, tradey, impenetrable and even at times useless to any audience who actually isn't working at (or recently laid off from) a bank. Why are they so willing to abandon us when they should be explaining things to use more than ever? Choire Sicha, The Awl blog

Why?Crisis in the systemThe study addressed the following questions:Why didnt we know this was coming?Did journalists fail to scrutinize the financial system?Can journalists cover this continuing, complex story?

In November 2009, POLIS, a joint public policy research project of the London School of Economics and the London College of Communication, released a study analysis the state of financial journalism in the UK and US

In November 2009, POLIS, a joint public policy research project of the London School of Economics and the London College of Communication, released a study analysis the state of financial journalism in the UK and US

14Why ?Speed: economic stories move quickly through digital means. Financial data is updated digitally, the advent of the 24/7 news cycle (cable news)

Complexity: Financial systems and new products are increasingly complex (hedge funds, derivatives) Strategy: The rise of corporate Public Relations places more and more limits on information exchangeWhy ? Sustainability: Lack of resources: The business of news has taken a severe hit resulting in less resources dedicated to reporting. Globalization: Markets are increasingly interconnected and globalised; shrinking newsroom resources have declined original international reportage.Blurring the Lines: Renewed debate on ethics: market manipulation? Who is a financial journalist?Is this the future?http://vimeo.com/11139124

Behind the Scenes

PLANET MONEYPlanet MoneyThis American Life producer Alex Blumberg teamed up with NPR's Adam Davidson to tell the surprisingly entertaining story of how the U.S. got itself into a housing crisis. The Giant Pool of Money spawned more stories led to the creation of NPRs Planet Money - a multimedia team covering the global economy.

The Giant Pool of Money: originally aired May 9, 2008 on This American Life, produced in collaboration with NPR News

Planet Moneyhttp://vimeo.com/10864430

Original song from Planet Money

Bet Against the American DreamMoving forwardCollaboration between mediums/reportersUse of new technologyGrowth of audience insightJournalism supported by foundation or government grantsGeneral assignment reporting morphs into specialization

Questions?