Friday, January 07, 2005


Everyone Looking At Same Numbers, Headlines Biased In Both Directions

To follow up on the story of US jobs growing more in 2004 than the past four years, I have been amazed at the difference in headlines regarding this story. We all have the same numbers to look at, but the inherent biases come out in the reporting. Almost none of the headlines simply report the story. Here is a sample from both sides.

The Pessimists:
Job Growth Misses Estimates in December
FOX News

Jobs gain smaller than expected
USA Today

December Job Gains Less Than Expected
MSN Money

US jobs data points to steady, not spectacular growth
Turkish Press, Turkey

US jobs growth below expectations
RTE Interactive, Ireland

Jobs Growth Slightly Soft

December Job Gains Less Than Expected

Jobs Growth Slightly Soft

US jobs data disappoints
Ottawa Business Journal, Canada

Employers Add Fewer Jobs Than Expected

The Optimists:
US employers created 2.2 million new jobs in 2004
Denver Post, CO

Here’s to a Good Year: A Look at Employment Gains in 2004, DC

December Hiring Helps Fuel Job Growth
ABC News

2004 Job Creation Was Highest Since '99
Washington Post, DC

Job Growth Picks Up Speed; Jobless Rate At 5.4%, NV

The disappointment here is that there must be a bias one way or the other for all these news and analysis to have such different takes on the same exact numbers. The encouraging part is that at least there are headlines in both directions. Having hundreds of news sources available via the internet has allowed all points of view to be easily accessible. I cannot recall a pre-internet time when the big three news sources had different slants or views on a news story. Thanks to cable news, online news and blogging, all points of view can be taken in and appreciated. While many in the blogosphere want to take credit for the fall of the old guard mainstream media, I think the bloggers just helped finish off an institution already wounded by the cable news networks.

Stuck in the Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam

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