‘Context, perspective and facts’ casualties of industry financial squeeze, says Bloomberg co-founder

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler talks about the news organization’s local training program. (File Photo / Reuters)
Updated 10 September 2018
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‘Context, perspective and facts’ casualties of industry financial squeeze, says Bloomberg co-founder

LONDON: Arab News Business Editor, Sean Cronin, talks to Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler about the news organization’s local training program.
Q: What is the next step for the students who go through the course?
A: The course exposes students to the various elements of financial journalism, and introduces them to Bloomberg’s brand of data-driven reporting, based on the “Bloomberg Way,” the students will hear directly from more than 20 Bloomberg journalists and analysts from London and the Middle East, on everything from using social media as a reporting tool and multimedia journalism, to journalistic ethics and principles and covering Middle East economies.
We hope to strengthen their existing interest in pursuing a career in financial journalism, and to inspire them to explore these specific areas further following the completion of the course.
Q:Will any go on to work for Bloomberg?
A: Through this course, and indeed all our global financial training programs, we want to inspire students to pursue a career in financial business and news organizations, whether that is at Bloomberg or elsewhere. We encouraged a number of participants from last January’s course to apply for our global internship programs. Two participants were particularly interested in how we use data across Bloomberg, and recently completed our summer data internship program in London. A third participant will begin a news internship in Dubai later this month.
Q: How many students do you expect to train every year?
A: We expect to train 40 to 50 students in total every year. Thirty students participated in the first edition of the program; this number dropped slightly in the second edition as we have implemented a rigorous application process to ensure we have the strongest candidates.
Q: Do you see core journalistic skills being threatened by financial pressures facing the industry and the churn demanded of reporters?
A: Yes, I believe this is especially the case in broadcast news where context, perspective and facts are casualties of this. This is where accuracy, which is at the heart of the “Bloomberg Way,” becomes particularly important.
Q: Is it becoming more challenging for local and national media to hold organizations accountble, and what can be done to change that?
A: Financial pressures have eroded local news reporting, so there is a lack of accountability when there is no vibrant local press, which in turn leads to limited public discourse.


Erdogan slams Western media over negative economy coverage

Updated 18 April 2019
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Erdogan slams Western media over negative economy coverage

  • Turkey’s economy has slipped into its first recession in a decade after a currency crisis last year battered the lira
  • The Turkish leader has in the past attacked Western media coverage on the country’s economy

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday criticized Western media coverage of the country’s economy after a Financial Times report questioned the central bank’s management of foreign currency reserves.
Turkey’s economy has slipped into its first recession in a decade after a currency crisis last year battered the lira, leaving foreign investors jittery over the government’s policies to manage growth.
The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that the central bank had bolstered its foreign reserves with short-term lending in what analysts worried was a way to overstate its buffer against any new lira crisis.
Last month, the lira fell nearly six percent in one day because of investor concerns over foreign reserves as well as worries the government had turned to unorthodox ways to shore up the currency before March 31 elections.
“Unfortunately, some quarters in the West, using all their media tools, are trying to say our economy has collapsed,” Erdogan told a business forum.
“Let them write what they want, write the headlines they want. The Financial Times writes some things. But the situation in my country is clear.”
The Turkish leader has in the past attacked Western media coverage on the country’s economy. Last month, he blamed currency fluctuations on a Western plot led by the United States to weaken Turkey.
The lira was down almost 1.5 percent against the dollar in Thursday afternoon trading.
The Financial Times story said it had calculated Turkey’s foreign reserves were much lower than the $28.1 billion officially reported in April if the short-term borrowing was stripped out of the calculation.
In a response to the FT, the central bank acknowledged short-term operations may impact reserve figures, though it said its accounting was in compliance with international standards.
But some analysts told the FT they were worried about unorthodox methods and transparency.
The weakening economy was part of the reason Erdogan’s AKP lost Ankara and Istanbul in last month’s local election, in what was a stinging rebuke to the ruling party after more than a decade and a half in power.
After a trade dispute with the US last year, Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey and tariffs on some Turkish goods, leading to a 30 percent slide in the lira’s value.