Saturday, April 29, 2006

What's Wrong With Business Journalism

Bill Holstein, former longtime Business Week editor, sets forth some reasons in a column in Chief Executive magazine. (Hat tip: Talking Biz News blog.)

It's quite an indictment and worth reading.

I'd add to Bill's list an almost complete abandonment of investigative journalism, except at a couple of leading publications. I deal with financial journalism's inadequacy in some detail in Wall Street Versus America.

Bill observed that
. . . news organizations, with the exception of a handful such as The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters news agencies, are walking away from quality business and economic information. Here are the dirty details:

The networks get cut back. Fortune magazine now has one full-time staffer on the ground in Asia and one in Europe. That’s it. Business Week has folded its international editions and downgraded its Tokyo bureau to local hires. Forbes has scrapped Forbes Global. And forget television. The major networks have largely demolished their bureau networks. Fox has never built one. CNN has demonstrated that it can’t make a go of it in business news, aside from Lou Dobbs’ latest tirades. And CNBC has long ago forgotten any global aspirations.
I don't agree with all of Bill's comments. For example, I don't see all the anti-CEO coverage that troubles him. On the contrary, most coverage of securities industry CEOs, even from the major media, is far too puffy.

Still, I think Bill has written a thoughtful commentary on a pressing issue.


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.


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