How Economists and Journalists Can Get Along

Brad De Long and Susan Rasky have a list of Twelve
Things Journalists Need to Remember to Be Good Economic Reporters
and Twelve
Things Economists Need to Remember to Be Helpful Journalistic Sources
.  Lots of good stuff.  Here are two favorites, the first nominally for journalists, the second for economists.

Never write "economists disagree." No matter how limited
your space or time, never write "economists disagree." Write WHY economists
disagree. An expert who cannot explain why other experts think differently isn’t
much of an expert. A reporter who can’t fit an explanation of where the
disagreement lies into the assigned space isn’t much of a journalist. A
journalist who cannot figure out the source of the disagreement is a journalist
who is working for whoever has the best-funded public-relations firm–and is
working for them for free.

Get over your snobbery about local television news. This is a genuine
opportunity to reach the public. Learn to use it. Remember that the local TV
reporter’s gasoline-price story this evening will be seen by 300,000 people.
Your op-ed will be read by 20,000, if you are lucky. Your journal articles will
be seriously read by 12.


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