Giving the Financial Media a Second Chance

9 Jan

During some brief discussion on twitter earlier, it struck me that perhaps my disregard for most MSM finance/business/econ coverage is perhaps a gross over-generalization or *GASP* even wholly unwarranted.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Despite my many, many rants aimed squarely at several alleged pillars/members of the MSM Financial media, I’m think it may be time to re-think my opinion.

As-is, I get the vast majority of things I read on any given day from my twitter stream.  People/outlets I follow effectively filter what’s out there so that most of the time, I’m reading alot (in fact, more than I can even finish) of quality, relevant material.  I do read plenty of material from the MSM though, but the majority of the time its just news (which is frustrating enough given several annoying, antiquated habits/practices), and seldom of the op-ed variety.  Most of the analysis (pseudo- or otherwise) I read is on blogs maintained by people who work(ed) in some capacity or another in the field they write about, quasi-blogs, and in my twitter and stocktwits stream itself.

My criticisms of the NYT Business section (and 1 or 2 of its esteemed columnists) alone have garnered somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 to 20,000 page views over the years, which suggests on one hand that my views are likely not unique, nor horribly inaccurate (for comparison, that’s the equivalent of a MSM article getting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of views, adjusted to scale).

On the other hand, I know several very smart, competent, and diligent financial journalists (quasi-journalists, etc).  On this same hand, several people whom I respect (journalists, professionals, academics, and those who fit somewhere in-between) are less cynical about the fourth estate’s finance/economic/business coverage.  It would seem, then, I’d be remiss were I not to question my stance; If people I respect exhibit respect for some people for whom I don’t particularly, perhaps my stance is what needs to be evaluated.

That being the apparent case, I need your help.  Who should I be reading?  What columns? In what outlets? More importantly, why should I be reading them?  I want to give MSM Financial media another shot, with as little preconceived notion as possible, but I’m not going to be an easy judge (shocker, I know), so here’s some qualifiers:

  • There’s a difference between tailoring your style/tone/level of detail to your audience and just totally dumbing things down to the point of getting things wrong.  I’m ok with the former, not the latter.
  • People who incessantly present one-sided or otherwise biased arguments have no place in my regular reading.
  • Similarly, people who regularly misrepresent facts and/or are prone to statistically-unsound “analysis” are not particularly my kinda thing.  I don’t expect rigor fitting a PhD thesis in Statistics but come on, let’s get the basics right.
  • I realize its MSM so this may be asking alot but I prefer reading the work of people who respond to criticism and/or acknowledge that they are not, in fact, all-knowing or all-informed.  No one is.  (not I, that’s for damn sure!)

Ok, so peeps, throw me some recommended reading.  I may be a cynical bastard but I’m trying to be open-minded and question my beliefs and views.  Best case, I find some new stuff to read that makes me smarter and better-informed.  Worst-case, I have plenty of material to reply-to on these pages, heh.

All kidding aside, I hope this little experiment ends up making me better informed and less cynical.  Let’s see how it goes…


3 Responses to “Giving the Financial Media a Second Chance”

  1. jonas January 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    We share your views:


  1. Tweets that mention Giving the Financial Media a Second Chance « Stone Street Advisors -- - January 9, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lee Distad. Lee Distad said: RT @The_Anal_yst: Giving the Financial Media a Second Chance: […]

  2. Giving Financial Media a Second Chance: Nevermind « Stone Street Advisors - January 13, 2011

    […] Jan A few short days ago I wrote about how I want to give the financial media a second chance.  Today, I’m seriously having […]

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