Most economic and business news in the recent recession focussed on policy and markets – New York and Washington, in American terms. So says a study released by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
“Citizens may be the primary victims of the downturn, but they have not been not the primary actors in the media depiction of it.,” it says.
Newspapers probably do a better job of reporting the local aspects and the people stories. “Newspaper front pages stood out for devoting the most attention to the economy, offering more localized coverage, giving voice to a more diverse range of sources and producing a higher level of enterprise reporting than other media sectors,” the study says.
Business and economic news will probably benefit – overall – from the shift to digital. People pay for it, and want both quick, fast-moving stories and deep analysis. But the content they will want – or want to pay for – will be market-focussed. Local economic news – which can matter a lot for local business development people, and for local communities – will likely suffer. Worth remembering: it is not just investigations and local politics that will be hit as newspapers fold. It is easy to just take agency and slam in the Reuters or Dow Jones copy.