Watchdogging the financial media: Media Matters takes on the task

March 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm 2 comments


As a follow-up to the Stewart/Cramer fiasco I blogged about last week, it appears that one non-profit organization, Media Matters, had declared itself a watchdog for the financial media.

They’ve launched a site called, and its main purpose is to hold those who report on labor and the economy accountable.

The organization states in a press release:

Media Matters created the website because the media have consistently offered false or misleading coverage of the causes of and proposed solutions for the current economic crisis. Many journalists, both in the financial and mainstream media, have failed to critically examine the issues and instead have simply repeated partisan spin –from using the phrase “Obama Bear Market” to touting CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli’s rant as being “populist.” With this in mind, the new website will focus extensively on ensuring that outlets such as CNBC, Fox Business Network, and The Wall Street Journal are held accountable.

I’m still undecided on the effectiveness on the actual site – the design is rather convoluted, and right now there’s not much content that doesn’t fit into the “such-and-such media outlet publishes grossly inaccurate financial information” category. And while I agree with their opinion that “journalists” like Jim Cramer need some watchdogging, their site could use some positive examples – like, “hey, this is how financial journalism SHOULD work” – not to mention some concrete examples of what Media Matters intends to do to fix the problem (other than create a Web page). The other question is, of course, if the campaign will still hold attention once the buzz surrounding Jim Cramer dies down.

One part of this site that is effective, however, is the incorporation of action items (like their petition to CNBC asking the network to cease acting as the mouth of Wall Street). I’ve always held the opinion that fueling anger toward a particular subject is useless from a nonprofit standpoint unless that anger has somewhere to go – whether that be an action item, a donation ask, or a volunteer opportunity.

In any case, I have to admit it’s encouraging to see Media Matters take on the newfound subject of shoddy financial media. Whether they can make an impact remains to be seen.


Entry filed under: Advocacy. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. denetemstycle  |  April 4, 2009 at 1:36 am

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  • 2. royanty  |  April 16, 2009 at 11:58 am

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