from Summit Notebook:

Zelnick: Welcome to the emergency room

Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take Two Interactive, has a bone to pick with the media: He doesn't like the two words "Financial" and "Crisis." At least not when they are used to describe the current state of economic affairs.

"I don't think we're in a financial crisis," Zelnick said at the Reuters Media Summit. "The use of the word crisis -- I'm loathe to be critical of the media since I'm every bit a part of the media -- but I don't think the word has been especially helpful. We're obviously in a recession and these are very very trying times."

If not a financial crisis, then what? Well, Zelnick offers up a hospital metaphor. 

"We're still seeing the car crash, and the ambulences are still showing up at the scene. Maybe we're in the emergency room, but we're not even in the intensive care unit yet for a lot of these companies. But they will get there."

Call it what you like. Either way, It's not pretty.

(Photo: Reuters)

The media, the economy and you

tv-reporter.jpgMedia coverage of economic troubles in the past 18 months has shifted repeatedly in the last year from a narrative about mortgages to one about recession, a banking crisis and now largely gas prices, according to a new report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C.

All this is good to know, but the bigger question is why it has progressed the way it has. Fortunately for us, PEJ digs right into it.(And before the meat, here’s the methodology: The PEJ study is based on an analysis of more than 5,000 economic stories from January 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008, drawn from 1,950 hours of programming on the three major cable news cable channels, 390 on network morning and evening TV, 910 on radio, and 468 days’ editions of 21 different newspapers, and the five leading news websites, some 48 different news outlets in all.)Here’s an excerpt:

[The] connection between media coverage and economic events has often been uneven. Sometimes, coverage has lagged months behind economic activity, when the storyline was dependent on government data. Other times, coverage has tracked events erratically, as with housing and inflation. … But when the story is easier to tell, as in the case of gas prices, coverage has been closely tied to what is actually occurring in the marketplace.