Conservatism should no longer be the standard for business journalism. At least that’s what a loopy op-ed by Quartz Editor-In-Chief Katherine Bell suggested.
Bell’s op-ed was headlined, “It’s time for business journalism to break with its conservative past.” In the piece, she pushed a leftist talking point that one of the problems of business journalism and its “conservative past” is that it’s full of white people. Bell attacked the self-proclaimed disproportionate whiteness of the business journalism profession, and even went after business readers for being too white.
We are a disproportionately white profession, reporting on companies led by disproportionately white leaders, markets invested in by disproportionately white investors, and economies studied by disproportionately white economists. Not surprisingly, the readers we reach are also disproportionately white, [emphasis added.]
Business journalism’s “conservative past,” according to Bell’s arbitrary connection, “is how so many business journalists and finance professionals failed to see the last financial crisis coming.” She also claimed this is why “some business leaders, investors, academics, and journalists made cautious business cases for things like increasing employee diversity or reducing carbon emissions.”
For Bell, the “white profession” had caused business journalists to not only fail in exposing “the extent of the inequities and injustices in business and the economy; we have reinforced and perpetuated them.”
Her solution? “If we want a better, more inclusive economy, we need a new, more demanding form of business and economic journalism.” In other words, “we need business journalism to be more progressive.” [Emphasis added.]
Bell was sure to hedge herself by saying she didn’t mean “progressive” in “its specifically American political sense.” Instead, she said she meant it as “Merriam-Webster” defined it: “‘making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities’ and ‘moving forward or onward; advancing.’” [Emphasis added.]
She must have missed that Merriam-Webster also defines “progressive” as “of or relating to political Progressives.”
Bell even stipulated with a leftist bent that traditional business journalism has historically “ignored racial and social inequities and left people out.” For Bell, “Being progressive and inclusive requires us to ask more fundamental questions about the companies we cover.”
Contact Quartz at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell Katherine Bell to stop using her platform to infuse her leftist take on business journalism.