In the wake of the financial crisis, the business press faces tough questions. In failing to sufficiently expose risk and malfeasance in the financial sector, and to explain the wider social and economic consequences of the crisis, critics say journalists neglected a fundamental obligation to serve the public interest. Many journalists counter that they reported as much as could be known, and defend their focus on companies' financial performance as serving the needs of the investing public.
At its core, this is a discussion about mission: What’s the distinction between the public interest and investors' interests, when are they in conflict, and how should news organizations balance the two? How has the broadening of the investing public affected the distinction? In a recent issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Dean Starkman framed the contrast and argued for a revival of public interest coverage. Join Starkman, and a panel of distinguished business journalists, for a debate that asks, 'Did the business press fall down on the job, and does the job itself have to change?'
Larry Ingrassia, Business Editor, The New York Times
Felix Salmon, finance blogger, Reuters
Suzanne Kapner, banking reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Jeff Horwitz, reporter, American Banker
Dean Starkman, editor, The Audit, CJR
Maha Rafi Atal, Executive Director, Public Business Media