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At the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) conference yesterday in Denver, the opening panel featured mainstream-media heavyweights admitting that journalists "blew" coverage of the financial crisis, that they missed the "big story" as it unfolded over the course of a decade. A root problem, as TV journalist Allan Dodds Frank put it, was the "posture of reverence" adopted by business reporters toward their subjects, a posture that sees CEOs as stars and "corporations as sexy."
In a windowless room at the Westin Hotel in downtown Denver, leading business journalists and editors explained how the media "blew it" in covering the economic meltdown. They admitted, on one hand, to falling under the sway of free-market ideology and celebrating risk-taking financial leaders and, on the other, to missing the complex story of the rupturing system by only reporting it in parts and to almost no effect for the past decade.