Journalist's Display of Tact Refreshing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

By: Sarah Harl

Over the last few weeks, it has been no secret that the economy has encountered its most difficult stage since the Great Depression. It has caused a financial crisis of epic proportions. But one place where you won't find words of doom and despair is the printed pages of a newspaper.

Not wanting to cause panic or rash decisions by readers, journalists at many newspapers across the country have refrained from using language that would cause panic among their readers--words such as "crash" or "failure".

This is not to say that journalists are not accurately and harshly reporting on the shortcomings of many of the financial institutions in the US. Nor are they downplaying the current economic status of the country.

Instead, many journalists have consented to the fact that they are not, in fact, financial experts, and realizing the weight of some of the articles they write with everyday Americans.

It is the job of a journalist strictly to report the news and what is happening. Not to convince people to move around their money or pull out of the stock market. That job belongs to professionals who are frantically working to minimize the damage of this economic downfall.

A display of journalists remembering what their job is, as opposed to trying to offer advice they have no expertise in giving is refreshing, and will help to keep panic to a minimum. And if panic is kept to a minimum, we will be able to recover from this period of time hopefully on slightly worse for the wear.


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