Thursday, February 24, 2005

You journalists always tell a lie

Amy, a journalism student, is laughed at in a joke by a law professional today. A veteran law professor, who is ranked as one of the most important professionals in China's intellectual property law, told me that he didn't like to be interviewed. "The stories written by the reporters are not always what I told them, though I repeated myself many times." He said.

It is hard to tell if it is the fault of the reporters or the interviewees. But the world, including the financial field, seems full of examples.

The dollar's broadly falling down this Tuesday is blamed as the mispresentation by the reporters and market participants. In New York, the euro was trading around $1.3203, up 1.1 per cent from Monday. Also against the yen the dollar was down 1.3 per cent to 104.20 yen, according to Reuters. Many traders seized on the news from the Bank of Korea(the Central Bank in South Korea), that the bank may "diversify the currencies in which it invests", as a convenient excuse to sell dollars. The bank, however, said that its statements had been misconstrued. It has no plan to sell dollars, according to Kang Myun Mo, director general of reserve management at the bank, reported by Asian Wall Street Journal. But the sentence of "diversify the currencies in which it invests" is indeed easy to be misunderstood in such a sensitive environment. Fortunately, a better-than-expected January consumer prices data partly saved dollar on Wednesday, while the bank directors in Asia, including Japan, announced that they had no plan to sell dollars.

The same thing happened to General Motors Corp, the world's No.1 auto maker, today when a Swedish nespaper named Dagens Industri said that the company was looking for a buyer for its loss-making Swedish car brand Saab, reported by Reuters and other media. The newspaper quoted a source with a good link to GM. Later today, GM blamed the report in the words- "the rumor is totally preposterous", though it admitted that Saab needed to improve its performance. It is difficult to judge now if GM told truth or not, but it is now facing a stronger competitor in US, where it is based, when the Japanese Toyota will lately set up more assembly plant there. There is a chance that GM curiously needs plenty of cash to protect its based market.


無塵工作室 said...

Yes....the incident on Tuesday got me worked up as well, as I actually rang Hong Kong (Ms. Ng, who works in the bank and manages my account), and tried to gather my available funds and prepare to do some buying as the whole world comes crashing down...but the next day this ended with nothing happening...Damn!

Well, when it comes to interpretating which person said what, especially in newspapers, one has to be vigilent I think, because it's a really subjective thing, and these things often happen, which is why there's always surprises in the market. But apart from the integrity of its source, the motive behind the report should also be examined...was it merely a silly mistake of misinterpretation? or is there's a message, a motive behind it?

Well, BoK can always deny they never said that, but who knows what they were thinking? They may have intended it themselves for all I know; as well as the cause, we can also examine the effect it had - US market responded to it at a near catastrophic level, and we can learn something from that as well - the US economy is very fragile, and will eventually become overly dependent on foreign players...I wouldn't totally believe the newspaper, but not the spokesperson either, however high their position in the company is.

As a rule of thumb for me, when journalist quote statements from unnamed sources, I don't tend to believe it, because if the statement has nothing wrong with them, why afraid to show ur name?

That's why when I read newspapers, I will always remember the journalist who has a good reputation, because I believe this has very much to do with the reports trustworthiness.

Amy or koala said...

But in Asia, if reporters quote some annoymous sources, you have to trust it sometimes. It is Asian culture to protect themselves.

Amy or koala said...

hehe, who is your trusted journalist, I wonder.

無塵工作室 said... a way, I tend to discount comments and sometimes overlook the reason for anonymity...these are actually very common in newspaper as well, but in UK I don't tend to believe them. I guess if the statements seems rational, I can keep that in mind instead of discarding it.

Most journalists I trust are in newspaper and in the UK, but online, your blog is the only one I read^^.

Amy or koala said...

thanks for your kind words:) I will try to be neutral and factual