Barron’s to critique investment journalism

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John Kimelman of Barron’s has started a new column called “Read This, Spike That” that will provide critiques of other financial media’s investment advice.

Kimelman writes, “We’ve taken note of the growing number of mostly free financial Websites that are trying to do what Barron’s has done for decades: that is, they take firm stands on the direction of specific stocks and other investments. In addition to well-known financial sites such as CNBC.com, The Street, and Forbes.com, there are a variety of up and comers with catchy names like Seeking Alpha, Wall St. Cheat Sheet and Street Authority that offer up a daily digest of stock opinions.

“Written by a combination of journalists, full- and part-time professional investors and analysts, and home-based hobbyists, the work is often well-reasoned and worth reading. But some generates more heat than light and is best avoided. Still worse, some articles have the taint of stock manipulation.

“Such an expanding body of mostly web-based financial writing deserves closer scrutiny. So today Barron’s is launching “Read This, Spike That,” a new online column that will attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff among the stock advice offered up by these publications and Websites. (To avoid any conflict-of-interest concerns, I won’t be focusing on work written by the Wall Street Journal , WSJ.com and MarketWatch, all of which are Dow Jones & Co. sister units of Barron’s.)

“Most days, I will review articles that hone in on stocks that readers tend to care about. I’ll even be employing a five-star rating system designed to remove any questions about my view on these articles.”

Read more here.