Business Journalism’s “Political Problem”

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed (or cares), but there’s an ongoing debate about the problems with business journalism and what it needs to do to assure it’s serving the public better.

The editor of The Deal Robert Teitelman is the latest to chime in on the debate, responding to Chrystia Freeland’s New York Times opinion piece, which argued that business journalism has an image problem. He has an interesting take, saying the “image problem” is actually a political one.
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“The reality that finance is a specialized world, with its own jargon and knowledge, led to the creation of the administrative state late in the 19th century, then saw the vast expansion in the 1930s,” wrote Teitelman. “It is worth saying again, because many still traffic in the naive belief that a good investigative journalist could have uncovered the financial crisis. The issue here is never just discovery… it’s convincing a large crowd that something is real, dangerous and must be (usually painfully) remedied.”

He goes on to add that “In a democracy where so many folks profess great ignorance, even disdain, of economics and finance — sometimes, among the chattering classes, quite proudly — that’s a very large, chronic problem.”

So basically, we can’t change business journalism until we change ourselves. Deep. Unfortunately, Teitelman gives little insight in how to bridge that gap of knowledge. Could the next person planning on putting their two cents on the debate please step up?

Photo by epicharmus