Reporting the global financial crisis: A longitudinal tri-nation study of mainstream financial journalism

Sophie Knowles, Gail Phillips, Johan Karl Einar Lidberg

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37 Citations (Scopus)


During the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, the financial press attracted criticism for its coverage: specifically that it did not provide any forewarnings to the general public; that it lacked sufficient scepticism when reporting on financial and economic trends; and that reporters were too close to the sources they used for information. This paper argues the GFC represents only the latest manifestation of dissatisfaction with the financial press, with similar concerns being raised in previous financial crises such as the recession of the late 1990s and the Dot Com boom in 2000. The paper presents the results of a longitudinal tri-nation quantitative and qualitative content analysis of the reportage in three mainstream newspapers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia across three decades, along with industry insights provided by interviews with reporters in each of the countries studied. The interviews and empirical evidence indicate there has been a decline in mainstream financial journalism standards since the 1980s, as the media have faced increasing institutional, ideological, and industrial pressures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-340
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • content analysis
  • ethics
  • financial journalism
  • global financial crisis
  • journalism standards

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