The Death Of Consumer Journalism

“It’s much more interesting to find out how I can get a delicious and safe tomato for myself than how all tomatoes can be made delicious and safe.” — Good consumer journalism is dead, says Trudy Lieberman in a September/October ’08 Columbia Journalism Review article. The perp? Journalism.

She says it went from promoting a consumer movement to promoting consumerism, teaching people to be better shoppers instead of investigating the dangers of the marketplace, e.g. stories that tell you that tapping your home-equity is a wise personal-finance tool, without telling you that you could end up losing your house.

(This article was actually written as a tie-in to a panel I sat on with Trudy at a CJR conference in December. Here is the audio of that panel. At 61:55 during Q&A, you can hear Jeff Jarvis telling Consumers Union to buy us.)

In the Beginning [CJR]
Are Consumers the Right Watchdogs? [CJR] (Photo: Hoong Wei Long)