April 29, 2009

Not Just A Problem With Flu Coverage [5:25 pm]

Frankly, I believe that our last 6-9 months of financial news coverage has been an even more egregious illustration of this problem, and has really gone over this “fine line:” Coverage of Flu Outbreak Walks a Fine Line (pdf)

“I get people who see the media, and people who are anxious to begin with will use this as an outlet for their anxiety,” said Dr. Joseph Rahimian, an infectious-disease specialist at St. Vincent’s.

Without the news media the public would be dangerously unaware of the swine flu outbreak, but perhaps without saturation coverage on cable news networks and the velocity of information on the Internet, the public would not be so hysterical, medical professionals said.

“It’s a fine line between educating people and frightening them,” said Dr. Marvin J. Tenenbaum, the director of medicine at St. Francis Hospital on Long Island. [...]

[...] Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said, “We have to be careful that we’re not alarmists.”

As I said, when it comes to coverage of the global financial markets, that ship has already sailed.

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