On The Listening Post this week: A decade on from the financial crisis, how well do business journalists understand their beat? Plus, Twitter bots manipulate online debates on Iran.
Lessons from the crash: Media and the 2008 crisis
Exactly a decade ago, the world was hit by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Trillions of dollars were sucked out of the global economy, tens of millions of people lost their jobs and austerity economics was imposed across numerous countries.
Here at the Listening Post, we reported back then on the failings of the financial coverage – failings that meant the crash came as a huge surprise to many around the world. The financial press cheered on a bubble that eventually burst, showed a lack of scepticism about Wall Street claims and failed to expose what was in effect mass fraud on their own beat, namely the mis-selling of mortgages to millions of Americans.
In the aftermath, some outlets apologised for the shortcomings in their reporting. Ten years on, how much has changed?
The Listening Post‘s Meenakshi Ravi looks at the lessons of 2008 and the new challenges facing reporters on the business and economy beats today.
Gillian Tett – US managing editor, Financial Times
Margaret Popper – Former reporter, Bloomberg TV
Michael Hudson – Global Investigations editor, AP
Paul Mason – Former economics editor, Channel 4
On our radar
Barbara Serra speaks to producer Flo Phillips about another powerful media man taken down by the #MeToo movement, CBS CEO Les Moonves; and YouTube’s removal of several accounts linked to the Syrian government.
“Faking the online debate on Iran”
For a country that has been on the wrong end of United States foreign policy for nearly four decades, it is no surprise the debate over Iran has been polarising. The US’s decision to withdrawal from the nuclear deal this year has boosted those calling for the hardest stance against the Islamic Republic.
Those pushing back against what many say is an agenda for regime change in Iran are reporting an online backlash the likes of which they have not seen before. However, the Twitter accounts doing the trolling may not be the organic opposition voices they are made out to be.
For all the accusations of disinformation and fake news from both sides, it is rare that we can point to facts, a location, and actual personnel explaining the modus operandi of an organised troll factory.
The Listening Post‘s Will Yong investigated this story and the trail has led him, surprisingly, to Tirana, Albania.
Trita Parsi – Author, Losing an Enemy – Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy
Azadeh Moaveni – Fellow, New America
Marc Owen Jones – Lecturer in Middle East history, Exeter University
Hassan Heyrani – Former MEK member
Hassan Shahbaz – Former MEK member
Source: Al Jazeera