Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Greenspan and the U.S. Economy

Both chose different wire stories for articles on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. CNN chose a Reuters article while Fox went with the AP. The stories were similar with some differences. The biggest difference is the emphasis placed on Greenspan’s agreeing in principle with the administration’s position on private investment accounts for Social Security. Here are some details:

* CNN’s article opens with interest rates and mentions Social Security in the fourth sentence. Fox’s article starts with Social Security. 20% of CNN’s article (by word count) is related to Social Security as opposed to 29% of Fox’s longer article.

* The last 16% of CNN’s Reuters article talks of the deficit and Greenspan’s quote that it is "imperative to restore fiscal discipline." The word “deficit” is not used in Fox’s article.

* Fox notes that “the nation's jobless rate should dip to around 5.25 percent this year, compared with 5.4 percent for all of 2004.” CNN does not mention jobless rates.

Yet again we see how just reading one source for news does not give you the entire picture and you are subject to the biases from that one source. In this case was CNN emphasizing information on the deficit and lessening the emphasis on Social Security by picking the Reuters Article? Was Fox doing the opposite by choosing the AP article?

Links to the articles:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/BUSINESS/02/16/greenspan.reut/index.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,147780,00.html

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