Is it just me, or does it seem like the media is playing a large part in the widespread financial panic that has consumed the globe?
I know the media is in the business of selling “papers” but still I wonder why they always seem to play up the negative? This only serves to feed the panic and thus make an already irrational market further disconnect from the fundamentals.
Is there any time when they should consider playing up some of the positive stuff, like companies that continue paying dividends, increasing liquidity, interbank credit easing etc. instead of feeding the panic.
Is A Balanced Representation Too Much To Ask?
I am not suggesting for a moment that they hide the truth. However, all we are really getting is an opinion and interpretation on what is happening – but does anyone really know what is happening?
The average person on the street panic and because of the sensationalism of the situation portrayed by the media, cannot differentiate between opinion and facts. The average Joe may panic and liquidate his 401k and not even really know why he is selling, other than the fact that the media is bombarding him with messages of companies going bankrupt and people losing their life savings etc.
Worse yet, a study found that increased suicides and homicides are linked to the financial “crisis”.
An out-of-work money manager in California loses a fortune and wipes out his family in a murder-suicide. A 90-year-old Ohio widow shoots herself in the chest as authorities arrive to evict her from the modest house she called home for 38 years.
In Massachusetts, a housewife who had hidden her family’s mounting financial crisis from her husband sends a note to the mortgage company warning: “By the time you foreclose on my house, I’ll be dead.”
Then Carlene Balderrama shot herself to death, leaving an insurance policy and a suicide note on a table.
I certainly don’t have all of the answers, if any at all, to these issues. However, I am becoming very disheartened with the mainstream media as they continue down a path that leads to more destruction that good. The above shows the outcome ofpeople feeling hopeless about their situation, financial or otherwise. Media outlets fuelling such hopelessness certainly doesn’t help.
Front page headlines do not necessarily need to be filled with hope, but I believe the media owes the public the opportunity to receive sound and relevant news about the state of the economy and their personal finances.
What Would It Take?
What would it take for the major media outlets to band together for the greater good of our global society and present quality information that would help to instill the appropriate (read: more rational) level of confidence in our monetary system(s)?
I know that much of the turmoil in the financial markets is real. However, for media outlets to portray this as the “financial apocalypse” is absurd, and in my opinion, unethical. Yes, there is cause for concern about the economy and the financial markets, but the infusion of undue fear on to the public is shameful.
At a time when media sources could be encouraging us to learn more about our economy and educate ourselves on personal finance, credit, and investing, they choose instead to churn out headline after headline proclaiming the next depression and the longest deepest recession in history etc.
One must wonder if there will ever be something bigger at stake than selling papers?