UCLan Journalism Leaders Forum report: Peston at Preston

This is a guest post by UCLan journalism student Nigel Barlow. He blogs at Thoughts of Nigel and you can follow him on twitter @nigelbarlow. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can Get Involved.

Robert Peston joined a debate at UCLan on the media's handling of the recession

Robert Peston joined a debate at UCLan on the media's handling of the recession

The BBC’s Robert Peston blames the people that were paid high salaries to regulate the city for the current financial crisis.

Peston was speaking by web link at last night’s Journalism Leaders Forum at UCLan which brought together a panel of local business writers to talk about the credit crunch and the media.

Peston though didn’t entirely exonerate the press. “Once the crisis was over”, he said, “the media have got some searching questions to ask themselves.”

He was talking ahead of an appearance today in front of a house of Commons select committee which has been set up to investigate the media’s handling of the crisis.

Peston himself has been at the centre of some of the controversy. Accused recently in an early day motion in the Commons of painting a gloomy picture of the UK, he was also criticised for leaking market sensitive information on his BBC blog.

There was a general consensus that the media had taken their eye off the ball in the run up to last autumn’s bank bail outs. Part of the problem was the lack of qualified business journalists. Reporters had too easily fallen for the spin of the PR agencies.

The general public though were as much to blame and the head of UCLan’s journalism department, Mike Ward, questioned whether once the economy started to pick up whether people would be as interested in economic matters?

Was it therefore the case that the media saw it coming but nobody was listening?

Watch the panel’s debate about the media’s handling of the credit crunch (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Connect to watch it all)

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