SABEW calls for CARES Act transparency

As we prepare to celebrate World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) calls on Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Trump Administration to provide much needed transparency in covering government and particularly recipients of funds under the CARES Act and its successors.

The coronavirus pandemic and the response in terms of unprecedented intervention into the economy and financial markets poses a challenge to the financial and business news media. Our government’s actions, while needed, have blurred fundamental definitions that journalists and editors use to cover the economy and business.

The once-clear lines between debt and equity, between public and private ownership and between free markets and managed economies have been blurred. These lines can only be restored if our government officials and elected representatives provide the news media and the public with the information necessary to understanding what has taken place and at what cost.

We join with other journalism organizations in celebrating the Freedom of Information Act and sunshine laws at the state and local levels. But we caution that without greater transparency the accountability that should accompany any government intervention into our economy – let alone the trillions of dollars being spend on recovery from coronavirus – will be lost.

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