Financial Times editor Lionel Barber asks whether the media should have foreseen the global financial crisis.
At the beginning, says Barber: “Most reporters working in this so-called ‘shadow banking system’ found it hard to interest their superiors who controlled space and who were more interested in broadcasting the ‘good news’ story of rising property prices and economic growth.”
While journalists were not the only ones to ‘fall down on the job’, there were four key weaknesses in the media’s coverage of the economy in the build-up to the crash (he goes on to outline these).
But, he adds:
“Many of the most important developments of the past decade (…) have largely been unanticipated or failed to attract the attention they deserved. Journalists, in this respect, have a crucial role to play. Flawed they may be, but they still have the capacity to be the canaries in the mine. Long may it be so.”