BMI’s Gainor: Media Should Think ‘Maybe We’re Just Doing This Wrong’

Media coverage of the economy in recent months should make journalists wonder what kind of job they're doing, according to Business & Media Institute Vice President Dan Gainor.

"‘If it bleeds it leads' has always been one theory. That only works up to a point," Gainor told Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto June 2. "When you are actually spinning the results so much so that they're more negative than the worst economic time period in American history, well then you really have to sit back and think, ‘Maybe we're just doing this wrong.'"

Gainor compared media coverage of the recent Bear Stearns buyout, a major event in the recent economic slowdown, to coverage of the stock market crash that kicked off the Great Depression.

"The media coverage [of] Bear Stearns [was] more than four times more negative than when the stock market lost 30 percent in six days," Gainor said, referring to findings published in a new BMI report, "The Great Media Depression."

"We could just be [in] a slowdown and a lot of the media are hyping recession, but more than 40 times this year on the major networks they've talked about depression," he said. "[T]hey shouldn't be doing as ABC did, talking about an economy, a global financial collapse, economy falling off a cliff or being a ‘house of cards.'"

The new BMI report found that journalists today are making repeated comparisons to the largest economic crisis of modern times, most often contextualizing current conditions with the phrase "not since the Great Depression."