Oil: How to avoid the next shock (Economist magazine)

Tongues are wagging about the most recent issue of The Economist, an objective (read “right wing”) news source out of England. The cover is a lurid image of an oil slick, much as one sees on any road surface in the developed (read “car-dominated”) world after a rain fall. It reads: “Oil: How to avoid the next shock.”

It’s not that I read the Economist, don’t get me wrong. But Sunday’s Toronto Star refered to this story in their weekly “Off the Rack” section, which is in their business pages. The Star piece was penned by one Alfred Holden, who is assistant financial editor there and also a columnist at the Annex Gleaner (he writes about architecture and urban design from a fairly enlightened perspective; I think he has even confessed to riding a bicycle in his column). I think it’s fair to say Canadians like the Economist as an alternative to Time and Newsweek, if for no other reason than because it pays attention to us once in a while–most recently when it called our Prime Minister “Mr Dithers.”

But someone should talk to Mr. Holden. He’s bursting the bubble of journalistic objectivity, not least the notion as puffed up at his own newspaper.

He writes: “Oil won’t run out, The Economist confidently predicts, because shortages boost prices, thus efficiency and exploration. The magic scenario must delight David Lesar, CEO of Halliburton, juggernaut service provider to the U.S. military and oil industry, whose firm’s two-page paid ad graces the magazine’s 14-page special report on oil (which also quotes Lesar).”

Could Mr. Holden actually be implying that them as purchases the advertising sways the coverage?

Hmm, about that full-page General Motors ad on page five–could we have a word?

One Response to “Oil: How to avoid the next shock (Economist magazine)”

  1. Spin says:

    Further on the issue of journalistic objectivity... Don't you just love it when an organ of the media tootles hard on behalf of one political party or another? Aren't there supposed to be controls on third-party advertising during elections?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.