Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to improve Economic reporting

It occurs to me that if you really want to improve the quality of reporting on economics, you should subscribe to your local newspaper. In fact, you should buy a subscription for everybody on your block. And you should advertise in your local paper, too.

Here’s my logic: with newspaper sales stumbling worse than a Miss America contestant trying to name all seven continents, it’s only natural that journalists are pessimistic about the economy. They’re losing their jobs, after all.

If you’d have asked auto workers in 1998 how the economic boom was working out, they’d have told you to get bent. The only difference between auto workers and journalists (other than the former having a useful skill set) is nobody expects assembly workers to report on the economy.

Journalists do. Recession? Here’s a hint for you: journalism has been in a recession for about eight years now. In fact, if you look at the stock price of the New York Times, journalism’s crown jewel, you’d think that their sector was in a full-on depression.

I don’t think journalists are trying to make the economy look bad. I think they’re just reflecting the gloomy state of their part of it.

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