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November 13, 2013

Journalists need better economic training, new report shows

By Darren Boyle

Journalists lack the economic training necessary to deal with complex financial stories, a new study has shown.

The Carnegie UK Trust has found that since the economic meltdown of 2008, journalists have failed to improve their skills in the financial area despite its importance to the news agenda.

The Trust claims that as a result, this important story is being under-represented.

The researchers interviewed a number of journalists who expressed concern that the complex nature of financial stories was stretching their knowledge.

They also said that journalists found it hard to participate in professional development courses to improve their knowledge and understanding of macroeconomics.

The researchers found that civil leaders also had inadequate financial training.

Lauren Pennycook, Policy Officer, Carnegie UK Trust, said: “It is apparent through our research that there is a need and desire from individuals in these two groups to better understand macroeconomics. The interviewees were not expecting to become experts overnight, but would welcome having a better understanding of the impact of macroeconomics on wider society, as well as in their own fields. This could be beneficial in helping to influence policy, or interviewing a financial expert for a business story.

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“It was also interesting to find that those we interviewed were not aware of some of the macroeconomics training that is currently available. This provides a real opportunity for training providers to reach out to these groups, and develop training which is tailored to their needs in order to be beneficial and effective.

“We look forward to continuing the discussion around the need for economic literacy training with journalists, civil society leaders and wider organisations.”

The Carnegie Trust was established in 1913 by Scots-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and is designed to improve the lives of people in the UK and Ireland by influencing policy and conducting innovative research.

The Trust said journalists looking for details of economic literacy training can click on this link



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