The Press: Economic Coverage: D as in Dismal

There have been periods recently when economic bulletins sounded like excerpts from an Ionesco notebook. Within a few days, the Wholesale Price Index drops a notch while consumer prices rise again. Unemployment hits a new high and the stock market rallies perversely. Assorted experts prescribe contradictory cures while Government officials shuffle a deck of options. How does a conscientious reporter or editor convey the meaning of it all? Not very well, in all too many cases.

Since events pushed inflation and recession to Page One and the top of TV news programs, it has...

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