Thursday, December 14, 2006

'The Audit' Continues its Trivial Pursuit

I've noted in the past that CJR Daily's "Audit" section, ostensibly devoted to intelligent critiques of the business press, is frequently off-base and obsessed with trivia.

That impression has been reinforced by this item yesterday afternoon flaying "cliché-ridden" coverage of the United-Continental merger.

"Fasten your seatbelts: Deal discussions in the airline industry are moving into high gear," went one report singled out by the Audit.

Stop the presses! An article written on deadline used inelegant language!

Was the coverage fair, balanced or accurate? The CJR has nothing to say on that, probably because it doesn't know enough about the subject to make a substantive comment. Instead, as usual from the Audit, we get smarmy potshots.

Trivial pursuit is not media criticism. There's a lot wrong with the business press -- sychophantic converage, superficiality, bias. Trite expressions in deadline reports is not one of them.

UPDATE: A reader points out in the comments something I missed, which is that the Audit appears to be rudderless at the time, and is seeking an experienced person to run it. That may indeed account for the poor quality of the content.

However, the Audit was run by an experienced business journalist before he quit recently, and the magazine still ran rubbish such as this.

© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


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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