Tag Archives: Financial Services Authority

Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis on ethical concerns with financial reporting

Speaking to students at Coventry University last Friday, via video link from BBC TV Centre, UK financial journalist and consumer champion, Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert.com, raised questions about the ethics of economic reporting, and called for specialist journalists to declare their bias prior to publication.

“I am an ‘agenda journalist’, my job is to support opportunism,” Lewis said. “I know that I am biased. My worry is that a lot of journalism is biased without necessarily claiming that it is biased,” he said.

Had it been Lewis himself who had got Robert Peston’s Northern Rock crisis scoop for the BBC in 2007, it would have raised ethical questions for him, he said. He would find ‘breaking a bank down difficult to live with,’ he said.

“It is an incredibly difficult question, because if you answer publicly that you are worried about one bank, you can cause the problems that you were talking about,” Lewis said.

The creator of MoneySavingExpert.com dismissed claims that financial journalists, particularly Peston, were becoming too powerful in the volatile economic climate, and said that stories had impact, but not overriding power in decisions made.

“Government has to follow the way the media is going to cover these stories, but ultimately, the people who are making the decisions are the lawyers, the people sitting in the Bank of England, at the FSA [Financial Services Authority] and in the cabinet,” he said.

Defending the future of financial journalism, Lewis claimed that there would always be a place for economic reporting, but that the significance of the reporting would depend on the methods used by the journalists involved.

“What we want is journalists who are questioning, but who also have to be respectful of the wider picture, and the impact that their journalism has on people,” he said.

The ‘money saving expert’ also insisted that journalists need an ‘ability to see both sides’ in order to avoid the potential pitfalls presented by a subject with such a large effect on so many people.

Telegraph.co.uk: ‘Are Twitter and blogging lazy journalism?’

The Telegraph’s Kate Day asks whether Twitter and blogging lead to a different kind of ‘lazy’ journalism, or a different kind of ‘more open media’.

She was at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) conference and comments:

“I was struck by the subdued atmosphere amongst the experts and financial journalists in the room. There was a lot of shaking of heads and very few leapt to their feet when the floor was opened up for questions.

“But outside the room, the debate seemed much more lively. Bloggers such as Documentally and Sizemore covered the event live online and a number of questions from people on Twitter were fed into the discussion via Reuters journalist Mark Jones.”

Day asks: “So is this lazy journalism? It is certainly different journalism. It loosens the grip traditional media organisations have on covering events such as this and brings in people who would never have had the chance to ask questions to those in positions of authority before.”

Full post at this link…

thisismoney.co.uk: Michael Howard demands FSA investigation of Peston reports

Michael Howard has written to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) asking for an investigation into reports by BBC business editor Robert Peston that included details of confidential talks between Alistair Darling and Bank of England governor Mervyn King.