Making Business News: A Production Analysis of The New York Times

Nikki Usher


The 2007–2009 financial crisis and its lingering aftereffects have provoked strong reactions about business journalism as a fundamentally failed form of news that does not adequately examine the economy. To move the discourse about the financial crisis forward, it is important to understand how journalists produce and create business news. This article offers a news production study based on five months of ethnographic research at The New York Times during the Great Recession and aims to examine some common critiques about business news: that journalists are investor oriented, generally unquestioning of the larger capitalist economic system, and do little watchdog journalism. These observations about business news are discussed in the context of the major critiques and offer concluding thoughts that these critiques do not do enough to explain business news limitations.


business news, watchdog journalism, accountability journalism, media critique, metajournalistic discourse, political economy, The New York Times, financial crisis, news ethnography, news decision making

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