My newspaper has shrunk due to fewer advertisements. Hardly a trend which makes me feel happy, but I do try to see the upside of having a more compact daily. For one, you can proudly say that you read the entire paper. For another, you can probably take for granted, that only the most important news is being published. And if the news is for the most part negative, it may not trouble you as long, because the amount of time you spend reading has been shortened. How the media write about the crisis does have an enormous impact upon us. Professor in Economic Theory and Policy at the Radboud University Nijmegen Esther-Mirjam Sent, criticizes the media for being sloppy at times in its coverage of the economy (“Dag Vogels, dag bloemen, dag crisis,” Volkskrant, 11 April 2009). For this reason, we shouldn’t believe everything we read. For example, slanted news releases with little context, can be misleading and negatively influence how we perceive economic events and developments. Sent stresses that economy is all about emotion. So that journalists when writing about the recession should strike a balance between reporting about bad and good news. We need to trust the economy again and have the courage to continue on. Which means that we need to hear good news as well. If economics is actually a social science, and our emotions and fears play a major role in actually determining how healthy our economy is, then I guess in-depth and balanced reporting is imperative, certainly if I ever want to hold a thick newspaper in my hands again. Copyright photo: Piotr Bizior, bizior photography –...
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