Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Columbia Journalism Review on Business Reporting

The CJR's Opening Bell column (it's really a blog but they're the CJR) is fast becoming a must read.
Here's their overview of the oil market:

The price of oil briefly hit a new all-time high yesterday in a landmark event that finally pushed petroleum past the inflation-adjusted record set in 1980.

The Wall Street Journal leads its Business & Finance column and fronts its Money & Investing section with the news that oil futures topped out at $103.95 yesterday—about twenty cents above the twenty-eight-year-old record—before retreating to $102.45 for the day. The New York Times puts the news on the front of its Business Day section.

But, it gets worse

In more bad inflation news, gold closed in on $1,000 an ounce, a number the WSJ calls “psychologically important,” while the NYT reports that natural gas and gasoline futures hit new records and the FT reports corn, rice, and soybeans all set new highs.

Each of the papers says the commodities run-up is being driven by inflation fears, with the Federal Reserve signaling it is leaning toward inflationary rate-cut policies to fight a sharp economic slowdown.

The WSJ says OPEC is perplexed that oil prices are soaring as the economy slows, weakening demand for consumption. The NYT reminds us that the plunging dollar (which touched a new record low against the euro yesterday) has much to say about that:...MORE

We happened to catch their first post and, sincerely, how can anyone read this and not be moved:

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first Opening Bell, a daily look at the morning’s business press written by Ryan Chittum, a crusty-yet-youthful financial journalism veteran....