Sunday, November 29, 2009

Answering Howie

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post and CNN's Reliable Sources did a segment on his show about a perceived "turn" in the Obama coverage and around the four and a half minute mark of the embedded clip, the following exchange took place between him and Chrystia Freeland, U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times.

From the show's transcript;

KURTZ: OK, but let's look at another possible failure, Chrystia. Is it possible that with the 10,000 stories that have been written in broadcast about health care, the public option, the trigger, opting in, opting out, all that, that the press missed the boat on the story that most Americans really care about, and that's jobs?

FREELAND: Well, I work for "The Financial Times," so we write about jobs and the economy constantly.

KURTZ: Right. But look at the broad media landscape.

FREELAND: I think the press has really focused on jobs, and I think, actually, it would be a mistake for us to be short-termist in how we look at the health care debate.

Personally, I don't think Howie widened the media landscape quite broad enough because if you get below the networks and the national newspapers, especially in the areas experiencing the greatest losses, I'm sure he'd find countless stories about layoffs, company closings, economic uncertainty and a regular diet of stories suggesting people start their own businesses, helpful hints toward that goal from non-profit agencies and occasionally something explaining eBay.

I also don't believe Mr. Kurtz has been paying a lot of attention to the situation in his own industry because the trade press and media blogs have been all over the job losses and rumored staff reductions.

Perhaps, President Obama's lower poll numbers is a reflection of the public's concern over jobs and it, along with the recent flood of media layoffs has alerted, possibly even angered the national media about a situation, they may have been more insulated from in the past.

After all, unemployment is bigger issue, when you fear for your job or know people who have been affected.

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