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  4. Covering the crisis: the challenge of financial journalism in an age of austerity




Covering the crisis: the challenge of financial journalism in an age of austerity




Please arrive from 6pm for a 6.30pm start

Speaker: Prof. Steve Schifferes

Inaugural lecture by Prof. Steve Schifferes

Marjorie Deane Professor of Financial Journalism at City University London

The biggest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression has raised many questions about the role of the media.

  • Did it hold the banks and the policy makers to account?
  • Could it have done more to spot the crisis?
  • And did it help encourage the wave of borrowing and spending that preceded the crisis?

The response of the press to the crisis reflect deeper trends that have been developing over the past 20 years: the expansion of business coverage, the rise of 24-hour news, and the growing role of public relations, all of which had a strong influence on the crisis.

We are also in an era where the political and economic agenda is converging. But business news is still a very different animal than the rest of news, for several reasons: First, it is much more dependent on a narrow range of sources - in the business community - and therefore subject to capture. Secondly, the business press is addressing two audiences at the same time - the professionals (investors) and the public, and the tension between these two roles goes back deep into history.

Now business journalism faces several key challenges:

  • the need to keep an independent perspective that is not cramped either by additional government regulation or excessive corporate manipulation
  • the ability to provide time-critical and trusted financial information where much information appears to available for free
  • how to cover the growing global interdependence of the world economy when news is still mainly national or locally produced
  • how to overcome public mistrust of the media as well as other institutions

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When & where

6.30pmThursday 17th February 2011

Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Tait Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom