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Bad News: How America's Business Press Missed the Story of the Centuryby Anya Schiffrin
Synopses & Reviews
Where was the business press in the weeks and months leading up to the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression? As our economy unraveled, journalists struggled to keep up with the story of the century, grappling with an alphabet soup of derivatives, backroom deals, and toxic financial instruments. But many fault the media itself for having helped to create the bubble in the first place. Did the press fail its mandate as an engine of truth by buying into the hubris and exuberance of the preceding decades?
Bad News is a foundational text for navigating a controversy that will be studied for years to come. With contributions from leading journalists and academics—including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia Journalism Reviews Dean Starkman, and Huffington Post business editor Peter S. Goodman—this collection presents a complex debate in a highly accessible format for anyone from curious readers and scholars to journalists themselves. And ultimately, the questions it raises illuminate the heated debate about the medias role as guardians of our democracy.
As the recent U.S. financial crisis unfolded, journalists struggled to keep up with the biggest story of the century. When the markets unraveled and the economy began spiraling downward, reporters raced to cover an unfamiliar cast of characters and an alphabet soup of derivatives and toxic financial instruments. And in the midst of this collapse, ironically, the business of journalism itself began to disintegrate as the mainstream media grappled with collapsing ad revenues and falls in circulation.
Faulted for cheerleading coverage that helped create the bubble, the business media came under siege from commentators across the political spectrum epitomized by Jon Stewarts now-famous attack on James Cramer for his uncritical coverage of Bear Stearns and other financial giants. Did the press fail in its critical role as it gave in to the irrational exuberance that fed the bubble itself? How do we explain these failures?
The role of the business press in the financial crisis strikes at the heart of the heated debate about the medias role as guardians of our democratic society. With contributions from leading journalists and academics at the forefront of this issue—including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia Journalism Reviews Dean Starkman, and Huffington Post business editor Peter S. Goodman—Bad News presents a foundational text in navigating a controversy that will be studied for decades to come.
About the Author
Anya Schiffrin is the director of the media and communications program at Columbia Universitys School of International and Public Affairs. She spent ten years working overseas as a journalist in Europe and Asia. She lives in New York City.
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