Poll: 77% of Americans think the press has made the financial mess worse
An Opinion Research poll asked 1000 respondents “Do you think the financial press is making the economic crisis worse by projecting fear into people’s minds?”
More than 3 out of 4 said yes:
…here are highlights of note: Household Incomes: $25k – $35k — 79% answered YES $35k – $50k — 88% answered YES $50k – $75k — 76% answered YES $75k – more — 78% answered YES Demographics: 85% of young adults (18-24 yrs old) answered YES 77% of males and females alike answered YES 65% of blacks answered YES
Richard L. Scheff, a national expert on corporate liability and white collar crime issues, warns media that they could potentially be exposed to liability despite apparent constitutional protections:
“Although statements by the media are protected by the First Amendment, the survey results demonstrate that the public believes that the press bears some responsibility for the lack of confidence in the economy. One would hope that the media would act less out of self-interest in these times of national crisis,” said Mr. Scheff, vice chairman and partner with Philadelphia-based law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads.
During the panic of 2008, reporting news that seemed to buttress the point that another great depression was just around the corner while excluding forecasts that were more optimistic or not as dire no doubt affected not only the opinion of readers and investors but almost certainly affected individual buying decisions for millions of people.
But why write stories that are hopeful when writing doom and gloom, not to mention catastrophic sells papers and gets people to watch broadcasts?
The press will never change.