Monday, 16 March 2009

Not likely here

Other parts of the UK press have picked up on the Stewart/Cramer debate discussed below. The Guardian wonder whether it should happen to financial journalists in the UK.

Of course it should, but the UK journalists that should be scrutinised are those that pumped up the housing markets for year after year, without caring or thinking about the consequences.

However, there still remains too much of a cosy and self-interested consensus - with journalists' employers receiving significant sums of advertising money from the housing industry, and too many householders still believing (hoping?) that their house prices are real.

This allows evidence-free articles like this to still be published, written by journalists still desperately trying to pump up the market.

Edited to add (after Matt's comment): I am not accusing anyone of dishonesty, just ignorance and bias (same as Jim Cramer).


matt h2o said...

To play devil's advocate a little - to what extent do you think that those journos at the Times were trying to pump the market, or that they didn't understand their sources' biases?

It looks rather to me like they were looking for a more up-to-date indication of the state of the market - given that the lenders' figures are always lagging indicators - and made the schoolgirl (in their case) error of asking an estate agent for comment without realising that you can't get an unbiased word out of an estate agent.

Though I would agree entirely that it was this utterly unquestioning acceptance of whatever such biased sources said that led so many journalists to act as market-pumpers on the way up.

I guess I'm arguing that whilst some journos did actively pump the market, a lot did it by failing to know how to work with biased sources, and thus regurgitated a lot of market-boosterism.

T1 said...

I completely agree with your last two paragraphs Matt ... in other words, the hacks got into bed with the trade and ended up screwing their readers.

What makes me a little miffed is that they are still doing it ...