No one’s above this crisis. There’s no one who can claim to sit outside it and adopt a neutral perspective. Ultimately we all have a stake in coming through it with as little damage as possible.

So far our political leaders have managed to keep their heads and drop a fair bit of the partisanship that is characteristic of the normal functioning of our political system. Voters expect no less. The community also has a legitimate expectation of the media that it will report and analyse the crisis calmly and with an emphasis on fact rather than speculation and blaming, not just as part of its responsibilities to readers and audiences, but because it is all too easy in the current climate for confidence, already shot to hell, to be further undermined by talk of economic disaster. There’s ample bad news to discuss without the media speculating about another Depression or suggesting our banks may need protection.

Irresponsible journalism usually doesn’t do too much damage beyond a few reputations. Now it could make a bad economic situation far worse.

Peter Fray

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