Panelists Discuss Experiences Covering a Financial Crisis

Posted By David Wilhite

By Amy Scott, Cox-SABEW Fellow

As journalists cover the ever-evolving stock market, there is a lurking fear of a financial crisis similar to what happened in 2008 happening again, according to a panel of journalists during a the recent conference of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

Jillian Berman, reporter for MarketWatch, Jesse Eisinger, a senior reporter and editor for ProPublica and Louise Story, the editor of newsroom strategy at The Wall Street Journal, were panelists moderated by Howard Gold, MarketWatch columnist and editor of Golden Egg Investing.

The panelists at the New York conference discussed the successes and failures of the media before and during the market crisis in 2008.

Story, who was working at The New York Times during the crash, said she was put on the Wall Street beat right after the collapse of Bear Stearns.

“I think one of the things that was actually helpful to me was coming in with a fresh eye and not having any allegiances or ways of thinking about Wall Street at all,” Story said. “Because I hadn’t been covering it I didn’t have sources, which was hard, but on the other hand it was kind of liberating.”

Although no one spoke directly about how to spot the next crisis, they offered their insights about the economy’s path. Story and Berman said they are unsure of what will come next, but Berman said she is moving forward with caution.

“I think we’ve all brought up things that are troubling and that are maybe different and are going differently than how they’ve gone in the past and that raise questions,” Berman said.

However Eisinger said he is believes the economy is in a stable place.

“I just don’t see the kind of excesses that we had in 1998 and ‘99 or 2005 and 2006,” Eisinger said. “I see a lot of very expensive markets, but I see a lot of reasons why corporations are going to continue to thrive.”

Amy Scott is a journalism student at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and was recognized as a 2018 Cox-SABEW Fellow.

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