News

Experts in media speak about economic crisis at Communication Week 2009

On Tuesday morning, three panelists spoke to a student audience about the difficulties journalists face covering the economic meltdown. Lisa Gibbs, business editor of the Miami Herald, Brett Graff, a freelance journalist with training as an economist, and Dan Grech, of American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” made up the panel.

This meeting was part of the School of Communication’s annual Communication Week, the theme of which isCommunication Connection, which runs from Feb. 16 to 20. Moderated by Jackie Sousa, a UM journalism professor and metro columnist for the Miami Herald, the panel commenced with an overview of the crisis.

“It all began with the housing bubble bursting, supported with easy access to credit,” Grech said. “Very quickly we started to see this all unravel. Regular people started getting dragged into it recently. Until we hit rock bottom, there is no way to get out of this.”

Graff then explained how different approaches are necessary to covering the issue, specifically in the magazine industry. 

“Magazines want to know what readers can do, how we can use the information to better our own lives,” she said.

Sousa then asked panelists for their opinions about the roles of journalists as watchdogs and if they had failed society by not foreseeing the imminent crisis.

“Only one or two economists actually predicted this. It was not a problem with the press that was reporting about it… but there’s certainly more that could have been done. We do rely heavily on the experts, and the experts got it wrong. We are not independently experts,” Grech said.

“We were criticized as being cheerleaders during the boom and now we are being called doomsayers. But we reflect what our sources are telling us,” Gibbs said. “However, as journalists we have to take the time to put it all into context for our readers and use understandable terms.”

The panelists then asked the student audience to speak about if they have been affected by the recession.  One student spoke of a parent losing their job, making college payments a greater challenge. Another told of her search for a second job, since she is not able to rely as much financially on her parents.

“Every single one of us is affected by these issues,” Grech said.

Sunamita Da Silva, a junior, felt she learned a great deal. 

“It was interesting that they actually admitted that their sources can be wrong and how important it is to describe stories to the public in understandable terms,” she said.

February 19, 2009

Reporters

Danielle Kaslow

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

As bleak as it seems now for the University of Miami, the Canes can still take a repeat trip to Char ...

A half dozen takeaways from UM’s demoralizing 16-13 loss at Virginia on Saturday: ▪ As was the case ...

So, who’s the quarterback now? The No. 16 Miami Hurricanes came to Charlottesville on Saturday with ...

More than 600 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service ...

Home Truth, the story of Jessica Lenahan’s pursuit of more effective domestic violence laws, screene ...

Members of the UM community who want to donate to relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricanes Mi ...

The University of Miami’s Model UN is working to expand its membership and reputation with its first ...

During a keynote address at a conference in Los Angeles, entrepreneurial heavyweight Magic Leap anno ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

The Canes have won five straight games and are 2-0 in the ACC, but they know they have a tough road ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.