Steve Schifferes, the Marjorie Deane Professor of Financial Journalism at City University, delivered his inaugural lecture to a standing-room-only crowd on February 17th.
During his talk, titled “Covering the crisis: the challenge of financial journalism in an age of austerity”, Professor Schifferes started by looking back at the changes to financial journalism since he started as a full-time business journalist 20 years ago. These changes—including a large increase in the size and scope of the business media, the overwhelming amount of financial information that became available to journalists, and the expansion of commentary over commoditised news—played a role in shaping the coverage of the recent financial crisis, and not always for the good.
“Financial journalists could have done better in both examining the roots and spotting the serious consequences of the crisis sooner,” Professor Schifferes said. “Why they didn´t reveals much about the nature of the trade.”
In the future, he believes that the key challenges facing the next generation of financial journalists are four-fold:
- To re-establish the trust of the public in their professional judgement
- To provide an independent perspective on key developments
- To understand the news from a global point-of-view
- To make sense of the welter of financial information in a timely fashionThe lecture text is available online