Credit Crisis Shocked Big Papers—but Why?

Only a few outlets warned of subprime collapse
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2009 5:19 PM CDT
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, holds up the Wall Street Journal as he questions former CEO's of AIG in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – If the financial crisis shocked news readers—and it did—it must have surprised news writers as well, David Folkenflik reasons on NPR. He surveyed major US publications and, sure enough, found few warnings of financial doom pre-meltdown. A New York Times columnist explained it this way: "As long as the stock market is going up, people don't really pay attention to a lot of other things."

It gets worse: A former NYT editor told Folkenflik that media watchdogs were out of their depth. "We in the journalism world had a very imperfect understanding of how the financial system fit together," he said. With a few notable exceptions—like BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal—most business coverage “fixated on executive suite intrigue and outsize corporate personalities," writes Folkenflik.