Comments on: When journalism misses the big picture A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ginger Yellow Wed, 08 Jul 2009 09:03:59 +0000 “But secondly I think that financial journalists are deluded if they think financial-market professionals are willing and able to wade through pages and pages of dry, jargon-heavy prose. The financial professionals I know tend to have short attention spans and have no particular eagerness to read the trades — especially any story in which they’re not quoted. Just because you’re writing for a business audience doesn’t mean your writing shouldn’t be lively and accessible. And, ideally, short.”

This is definitely true, but at the same time, financial professionals don’t want to wade through explanations of what Libor or a credit default swap is every time they read an article. You’ve got to strike a balance.

It’s also worth noting that there are different kinds of professional/trade reader. An article aimed at the MD types you describe (or senior management in general) should take a different approach to one aimed at people working at the coalface, so to speak.

By: youpijiufang Wed, 08 Jul 2009 03:59:38 +0000 Horse donkey and Anglo-Saxon hybrid race now occupied 60% of the earth in wealth and guns around the world to plunder a wealth of others. Then use the money to support and the help they rob spending more wealth provides the opportunity of the clown, this is why the dalai lama and rebiya kadeer is the source of the market.
This past or being plundered all the people should be awake, resist, and as the hybrid method

By: Dave Tue, 07 Jul 2009 20:42:53 +0000 The point that bears mentioning here is that Managing Directors often do not have the proper perspective with which to understand the risks to which their companies are exposed. Large companies such as Citigroup are so complex that it is impossible for a person sitting in the loft perch of a managing directorship to be able to assess the granular detail required to correctly opine on its risk exposure.

Journalists, having never worked at a company, don’t necessarily understand this deficit, and the managing director, pleased to be quoted in the press, won’t acknowledge it.

This dynamic should be intuitive, yet it seems to elude those tasked with uncovering stories.

By: Eric Dewey Tue, 07 Jul 2009 20:21:30 +0000 DtlD, well and truly put. The point Felix makes is applicable universally.

And it strikes me that this crisis continues to seem far larger and deeper than merely a financial one – if the western capitalist system fails because key people cannot clearly communicate with one another, is that not a deeper crisis of culture and education?

By: Don the libertarian Democrat Tue, 07 Jul 2009 19:40:15 +0000 This comment might miss the mark, but hasn’t this crisis shown the need to explain everything clearly and effectively? After all, the professionals in the businesses involved are pleading stupidity right and left. Apparently, they can’t handle excessive jargon or complexity either. These professionals should now want the more abtruse products explained simply or chucked out.

Also, I always refer to two of my teachers, John Searle and Paul Feyerabend, on this question. Searle holds, following his teacher J.L. Austin, I believe, that if someone can’t explain something simply, then they don’t know what they’re talking about. The one exception being Kant.

Feyerabend always told me the same thing. Experts are master obfuscators, but the ones worth reading are capable of making the most complex ideas comprehensible. Feyerabend himself made very abstract scientific theories very clear. When you do that, it’s much easier to determine which theory is worth something.

You won’t get all the nuances or be capable of doing the work yourself, but you should be able to understand the basic idea and import. Remember:

“Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can’t say it clearly you don’t understand it yourself.
John Searle”

And Wittgenstein:

“Everything that can be said, can be said clearly.”