Media Talk: Predicting the Crash

Talk Thursday 6th November, 2008

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In recent weeks, increasing criticism has been leveled at the media over failure to provide adequate warning of the impending economic turmoil, as well as accusations of sensationalist coverage. Did the media fail in its scrutiny? Or are the workings of international finance now so complex and secretive that the media can no longer provide effective oversight?

We ask some of the journalists and commentators who have been credited with providing early warning of the collapse of the markets for their assessment of where the global economy will be in twelve months as well as asking them to reflect on the media’s role in the crisis.

Paul Lashmar is an investigative journalist and is currently undertaking a research project into the reporting in the UK of the sub-prime market prior to August 2007 for publication in Journalism Practice. He writes for various newspapers including the Independent on Sunday, The Guardian and The Evening Standard, and his specialist areas include terrorism, intelligence, organised crime, offshore crime, business fraud and the Cold War.

Gillian Tett is an assistant editor of the Financial Times and oversees the global coverage of the financial markets. In 2007 she was awarded the Wincott prize, the premier British award for financial journalism, for her capital markets coverage. She was named British Business Journalist of the Year in 2008.

Ann Pettifor Ann Pettifor is a political economist and author of The Coming First World Debt Crisis (Palgrave, 2006) and editor of The Real World Economic Outlook (Palgrave, 2003). She is a fellow of the new economics foundation (nef) in London and director of Advocacy International.

Michael Blastland is a freelance writer and broadcaster and co-author of The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and In Life. A journalist all his professional life, he started on weekly newspapers before moving to the BBC where he made current affairs programmes for Radio 4, such as Analysis and More or Less.

Paul Mason is Newsnight’s Economics Editor with a brief to cover an agenda that he sums up as: "profit, people and planet". He is also the author of MeltdownThe End of the Age of Greed which will be published in Spring 2009 by Verso.