What Kind of Stories Are the Media Failing to Cover?

Dan Froomkin of the Nieman Watchdog Project interviews William K. Black about the media’s underreporting of fraud cases. Black, a regulator and professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, outlined nine stories he thinks are currently being underreported. The majority of them concern fraud: mortgage fraud, consciously fraudulent lending practices, lack of prosecution, “echo” epidemics of fraud, and the “ongoing massive cover-up of losses on bad assets.” Black also laments the “continued absence of effective regulation,” writing that “It should be scandalous that Obama left in charge, or even promoted, the anti-regulators who permitted the Great Recession. The (failed) anti-regulator of Fannie and Freddie, for example, remains?FHFA’s acting director.” [%comments]

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  1. Eric M. Jones says:

    Really great article to read. Make sure you read it!

    I think the US press has been bought and paid for. The local paper cannot print anything critical of the local banks because that’s who advertises in the paper. This is true in larger papers too, and news media in general. Boeing’s ads are scattered here and there to suppress Military Industrial Complex discussions.

    The best media coverage is the BBC. Years ago I heard Judy Swallow of the BBC interviewing some African dictator and in the middle of the dictator’s disingenuous pronunciamentos about how he loves his people and works tireless for them, Judy chimed in ,”But isn’t what you’re saying all just a load of crap…aren’t you just robbing the treasury for your own pleasure?” You could hear AK-47s being cocked in the background. I love that stuff…You go girl.

    I suspect if you want the truth you won’t find it in the US. The BBC has lots of news that leaves me wondering why it isn’t covered at all in the US, even noncontroversial items.

    I would say it’s a puzzle, but of course it is not. No man can be a prophet in his own country, I suppose.

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  2. econobiker says:

    How about the media doing some honest reporting on alternative political party candidates versus the few “is he/she a spoiler for another of the big two party candidates?” stories that appear.

    I wish the journalism manufacturing reporters could understand that there is a story inside the story that alternative/3rd party candidates get pushed aside by the media via the actions of the two main parties. Such as the psuedo-neutral activity like the Commission on Presidential Debates being run by both big parties and nixing 3rd party involvement via constraining rules…

    This Tea Party thing seams to be confusing them much the same way that the potential Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama fight for the Democratic presidential nomination sent reporters pin heads spinning.

    But reporters/editors seem to be pretty simple minded now seeming not to fathom anything more than a Coke vs. Pepsi political fight…

    Since those folks can barely understand how the political machines shut out alternative voices how the heck can they comprehend detailed fraud?

    When the reporters can just sell their editors on some Paris Hilton-esque infotainment or crib some fluff stories from corporate press releases, why should they care about understanding and writing about complex fraud?

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  3. F says:

    Simple: Wikileaks.

    Yes, the media is forcing the smear campaign on Julian Assange but they haven’t properly reported the magnificence of Wikileaks. Specially the NY Times.

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  4. Lystraeus says:

    Science stories.

    There’s Goldacre, and… errr…

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  5. MariaCMS says:

    This is not a big surprise given that the media has always been manipulated so that we receive biased information or no information at all. The fact that Black outlined nine stories that were being underreported including and that Obama promoted the anti-regulators who permitted the Great Recession is really concerning.

    Yet, sometimes I believe that they have a reason of not saying all the information that would benefit the crowd as a whole. Maybe the cost of them telling so many things will result in public misinterpretation or even the people might panic, and so they prefer to balance more the information they give us. Not that I am in their side, but I’m just being open minded about the situation. Let’s just hope that whatever information they publish or not publish, is for the benefit of the people and not for them.

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  6. Home Building says:

    Coverage of the invention of new things that are even a tiny bit outside of ‘digital’ consumer items is very scarce.

    We are drowning in coverage re new phones and ‘apps,’ etc.

    Joel Stein (Time magazine) and others have begun to drive around the country and are surprised by what they are finding….but they go home to the coasts, all too soon. They don’t get their hands dirty and they don’t know what is being built and invented.

    How are they making diesel engine exhaust much cleaner? How many miles per gallon can be obtained in a conventional automobile? Why are teachers blamed for poor student performance when the parents provide absolutely minimal educational promotion?

    Plainly, get out of NY, DC, LA and SF

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  7. Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team says:

    News coverage seems reactive and biased to catastrophe, failure and negative stories. Why can’t there be equal coverage of good news,progress and positive stories? Why is the front page so depressing?

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  8. Shane says:

    If I may blow my own trumpet a moment, here is a relevant article I wrote on the obsessive media coverage of Israel-Palestine conflicts compared with much more destructive African conflicts:
    http://www.globalpolitician.com/26439-wars

    I also recommend Virgil Hawkins’s research on “stealth conflicts”.

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