Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Business Media Reportage Goes Boom, Now Bust
There are a couple of interesting pieces on media coverage of the economic boom and bust in this week. First off, Michael Dolny analyzes how most mainstream media coverage of the boom was conservative in nature -- not liberal as many media critics contend generally. Conservative think tank representatives got more ink than liberal think tank representatives. Corporate executives got more play than union officials.

In addition, Steven Rosenfeld interviews author Jack Beatty about recent changes in business reportage. Boosterism is ceding to skepticism. There was a "new economy" in the '20s built on automobiles and the radio. And the New York Times and magazines such as Businessweek are increasingly critical in their coverage of large organizations, largely sparked by Enron.

Interesting perspectives as the page counts -- and reporter staffs -- of newspapers' business sections continue to shrink. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that business sections were cutting their stock and mutual fund listings. In fact, many business sections have continued to thin -- beefed up slightly by coverage of the recent corporate corruption scandals -- and while I haven't been able to track down stats, I wouldn't be surprised if our former glut of business reporters hasn't been trimmed, as well.

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