The pressures that business journalists face

The pressures that business journalists face

Chris Hedges of “The Chris Hedges Report” spoke with Gretchen Morgensona senior financial reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit who previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times where she won a Pulitzer Prize, about the issues in journalism.

Chris Hedges:  Yeah. I used to say, that in war, the higher you go up within the ranking system, the more untruthfulness you’re going to find. That’s why you better stay with the privates and the lance corporals. But that comes with pressure because you have powerful interests that don’t like it. And we have to acknowledge that they had influence within the organizations. We both worked for the New York Times and you worked for the Wall Street Journal. Let’s talk about the pressures they are able to exert within a commercial media that needs those advertising dollars to function.

Gretchen Morgenson:  Well, there is a chilling effect that they try to exert when you contact a company with the story. I’m always very open with these companies that I write about and the people that I write about, about what my topic is, what I’m saying, what I’ve heard, why I am reporting, and why I’m contacting them. When those wheels start turning and they understand that it’s going to be potentially critical storytelling, an aspect of showing a side of their business they don’t want out there, then they start to exert pressure, send lawyer letters, attack the reporter, attack the information that the reporter has gleaned from sources, questioning the sources, et cetera.

But that’s the way the world works and you have to be able to stand up to that as a reporter. But even more important, you have to have an editor who is going to stand up for that with you, and this is where we start to see some of the fault lines now. You’ve probably still got an array of reporters who are willing to go out and get the story no matter what. But do they have bosses who are willing to take the heat, take the pressure, and continue down the path? That is a question.

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