How to fix TV financial news

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Barry Ritholtz, writing on his Big Picture blog, has some ideas on how the problems with business news on television could be solved.

Here’s a sample:

6. Separate the Signal from the Noise.  Understand that most of the day-to-day action is simply noise. Look at a long term chart, you can barely see 9187 or 9/11. If those major events get lost in the long term trend, what does the intraday jags, kinks and reversals mean? Very little. Recognize that not every data release, slice of news, or rumor is at all significant. Stop treating them as if they were.

7.  Fact Check: An awful lot of things on air get stated with authority and confidence. Much of them are little more than junk or pop myths. Why is it that the more dubious a proposition is, the greater the confidence the speaker seems to muster? Consider fact checking as much of the statements that are made on air as possible, and making frequent corrections.

8.  Accountability is important:  I am astounded at some of the money losing hacks that are various shows again and again. These are the “articulate incompetants” to use Bennett Goodspeed’s phrase.  Why not keep track of the records of guests — and let the viewers know how their past few calls have been. Are they Perma-bulls or bears? Are their stock picks awful? Are they reliable money makers? If not, let us know. (Of course, the better question is, if not, why even have them on?)

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