Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fox Business and the "Average Joe"

Media Bistro brought it's readers information about an interesting article in the Columbia Journalism Review by Liza Featherstone. The writer's focus was on the impact that the Fox Business Network was having and whether or not it had incorporated "Main Street" as well as "Wall Street."

From the article:

Liza Featherstone writes an in depth feature about Fox Business Network in this month's Columbia Journalism Review. Featherstone writes that, despite the fact that FBN "champions Main Street over Wall Street," the network is missing, "the actual perspective and experience of the average Joe."

Featherstone writes that FBN, "can be fun to watch," and describes examples of the unique way the channel has presented financial news. Still, "If FBN were to be intellectually honest in early 2008, some of that reporting would necessarily be less than upbeat," she writes. "We never even meet FBN's favorite protagonist: the consumer trying to make ends meet. We don't see the neighborhoods in Cleveland that have been devastated by the mortgage mess."

As FBN evolves on TV, its web counterpart has shot to success. Michael Learmonth
writes on Silicon Alley Insider about Foxbusiness.com (1.01 million) surpassing CNBC.com (998,000) in unique viewers during January 2008 (CNNMoney.com beat both significantly, with 5.6 million). One caveat — all of Foxnews.com's business news traffic gets redirected to Foxbusiness.com.

The thesis of the article is simple: although Fox Business gives the viewer significantly more content on small and medium size businesses (versus pure Wall Street coverage), it is failing to address the needs of the "average joe." The consumer, home owner, or employee that are affect by businesses of all sizes. Here's the problem with that criticsm -- Fox never promised to reach that audience. It is, after all, a business channel.

What it set out to do is discuss the mega corporations and the average business on the street, and it has certainly made strides in that direction. I think that it has work to do in that front. Historically, small business is "boring", "parochial", or even "local." It doesn't have to be, but that is how it has been treated by the media. In the future, I believe all the networks will focus on small business (which is where the bulk of the job creation is in this country) and I expect Fox Business to be a leader in that drive.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Jack Chase said...

I get different types of business news from different sources. I like both CNBC and Fox, but I also enjoy Bloomberg (for more "high brow" news.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't even been able to find Fox Business yet! Where is it in Houston?

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Mark Hollan said...

I'm with you. Fox business is about business. If people want consumer information, they should read Consumer Reports.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Kevin Price said...

If you go to www.FoxBusiness.com, they will show you how to find it in your local area. Which service you use will determine where it is.

6:09 PM  

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