I Have a Dream…About Financial Media


Much has been made recently about the distinction between financial bloggers and mainstream media journalists and whether or not there should even be one.  I hope that one day, we are all judged by the quality of our insight and integrity, rather than by our majors in college.

With the deepest respect for the words of Martin Luther King Jr., I’ve adapted a portion of his “I Have a Dream” speech, in the hopes that we in the financial commentator community can learn from his example and find common ground:

And so even though we face the business news of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the freedom of the press.

I have a dream that one day the business news media will wake up and live out the true meaning of its public trust: “Opinions Can Be Bartered But Facts Are Sacred.”

I have a dream that one day in the ink-stained bullpens of New York, the writers of old school newspapers and the writers of online publications will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the network of CNBC, a network sweltering with the heat of anti-bloggerhood, sweltering with the heat of self-defensiveness, will be transformed into an oasis of impartiality and candor.

I have a dream that my fellow blogging colleagues will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the prestige of their press credentials but by the content of their posting.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down at Dow Jones, with its haughty journalists, with its publisher having his lips dripping with the words of “firewall” and “subscription” — one day right there at Dow Jones blogger boys and blogger girls will be able to join hands with anchor boys and reporter girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to WordPress with.

And if the financial mainstream media is to be trusted, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious CNBC studios in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Let freedom ring from the mighty newsroom at the NY Times.

Let freedom ring from the headquarters of Fox and Dow Jones.

Let freedom ring from the wires of Thompson Reuters.

Let freedom ring from the top of the Bloomberg building.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from the halls of the Washington Post.

Let freedom ring from the Financial Times of London.

Let freedom ring from every page and issue of Barron’s.

From every publication, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every magazine and every paper, from every network and every website, we will be able to speed up that day when all finance commentators, traders and reporters, bloggers and writers, analysts and journalists, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Jefferson Starship song:

“And we can build this dream together
Standing strong forever
Nothing’s gonna stop us now”

I know, I know…my Flintstone Vitamins got switched with self-righteous pills this morning, and I also apologize for evoking the name of Jefferson Starship just as you were starting to forget about them…sorry.

But still, one day this feud will be replaced with a more cooperative news and opinion delivery mechanism for the benefit of all market participants.

Until then, one can dream.