Econ reporting can point way to international reporting

The people want more than just celebrity and local local local news. They want information that will help them better understand what is going on in their lives.

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the top story subject  last year was the economy. And the people have been clamoring for more. What they are asking for is not just the local economic news but also larger economic stories.

Mallary Jean Tenore at Poynter quotes Chris Peacock, executive editor and vice president of CNNMoney.com, saying, “At first, the broad sentiment was that what happened on Wall Street didn’t concern Main Street, but that quickly changed, especially when Main Street lending froze.”

So the people finally saw a connection between Wall Street action and Main Street reaction. And the people made that leap of understanding because of steady and regular reporting about the economic situation the United States and the world has been in for the past four years.

The next step is for the media to do the same with international reporting.

The extra economic reporting has already started more people asking for more reporting about China.

Peacock told Tenore: “What has surprised me most in the last year is that our audience has had an increasingly voracious appetite for understanding China’s economy. Once considered mundane, reports on China’s inflation and manufacturing can now have a strong ripple effect here.”

What editors have to see is that the economic situations around the world are NOT independent of the political situations. That means that reporting on the economic issues MUST also entail reporting on the political and social issues in a country.

That means — follow closely now:

  1. People want more economic reporting because they see the links between Wall Street and Main Street
  2. People want more information about the economic and fiscal situation in China because what affects China affects Wall Street. (And what affects Wall Street affects Main Street.)
  3. Fiscal decisions in China — as in the rest of the world — are as much political as economic.
  4. Therefore, if people want more information about the Chinese economic situation, they will also need more reporting on the Chinese political and social situation.
Wall Street is also affected by the European debt crisis. Think about how many US banks are holding Euro-denominated loans. Except that we have not seen much reporting on that connection.

We just need for editors to see just beyond what Peacock sees. There are global connections to Main Street in dozens of ways if only they would look for them.

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Filed under Connections, International News Coverage, Story Ideas

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