Marek Fuchs of TheStreet.com is critical of business journalists who got the wrong take on the November revenues of The New York Times. The results, issued Tuesday, were met with more criticism in the press release, writes Fuchs, than the journalists covering it. FishbowlNY emailed Fuchs on the lack of critical coverage.
FishbowlNY: Why do you think the business media got the story so wrong of the New York Times results? Wish fulfillment? Sloppiness? What?
Marek Fuchs: There were a bunch of reasons, all lame. There was an element of wish fulfillment harnessed to a characteristic level of sloppiness, all underlined by the fact that few in the business media have Wall Street experience or even came to their craft with an interest in business, like a sports or political writer might. While it is uncommon that a press release will be more forthright than the articles that followed, these are the dark elements investors have to deal with on a daily basis in what they read, hear and watch. Very lame.
FishbowlNY: It is ironic that a press release is more accurate and critical than the press surrounding a mixed event, no?
Marek Fuchs: It is the definition of ironic that a press release is more accurate and critical that the press surrounding a mixed event. Wait. No. The definition of ironic is a recent Business Week Memo to staff recently that buried a mention about layoff beneath chest thumping circulation increases, which mean nothing because advertising in plummeting. Even the business media feels they can fool the business media. That defines irony.
FishbowlNY: What was your initial reaction to finding out about the extra holiday week and its role in the Times’ figures?
Mark Fuchs: I write The Business Press Maven column for TheStreet four times a week so, trust me, I’m used to seeing misinterpretations — and that’s putting it kindly. But even I had to do a triple take on this one. I musta’ read it all over 10 times, convinced that I was missing something. An extra holiday week on the base of a month–and mentioned right up high in a press release — is a little like missing an oncoming train. I just couldn’t believe it could be missed by so many. I wish it hadn’t been. But when it comes to the business media, wishing only wounds the heart.
(image via betterbusinessthroughwrititng)