Financial crisis = televisual crack

Here is another one of those “no shit Sherlock” reports.  A report commissioned by Sky News reports that television reports about the banking crisis having had the biggest impact on British viewers of any news story in the last 20 years.

Isn’t it slightly disingenuous to report this as news? Anyone working in a TV newsroom in Britain has known since that collapse of Northern Rock, if not slightly before that (if they were paying attention), there was nothing to grab the viewing public’s attention like the power of nightmares heading straight for their bank balance.

It was like the worst reality show you could imagine. The mighty tumbled, the unexpected became reality and further still each twist and turn directly impacted upon the life of you, the viewer. We couldn’t have asked for a better story.

And in the sharpest twist of fate the story which we peddled, stoking the flames on the fire of fear, has now bitten us in the tail. UK media has been hit so hard by the advertising downturn bought on by the financial crisis brought on by the credit crunch that we so snappily through into the common vernacular.

Who could have asked for a better story with a better arc?

More than 2,000 people were asked which stories had most interested them and their families and 50 per cent nominated the ongoing financial crisis.

The November 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York came second with 29 per cent.

Other events nominated include the 1997 election and the death of Princess Diana.

But when people were asked which news story had the biggest impact on the world the November 11 attacks came out on top.

The You Gov poll of 2,338 adults was commissioned to mark 20 years of Sky News.

A Sky News spokeswoman said: “The survey shows that there is a clear distinction between what people see as the biggest stories to the outside world, and what directly impacts them and their loved ones the most.

“9/11 was indisputably one of the biggest stories of the last 20 years, but when it comes to what has impacted Britons the most, the current financial crisis clearly has had the biggest impact as it directly affects their way of life and future prospects.”

Get your class war on

hate to rant on about the same thing but as I type news of the spectacular collapse of HBOS shares streams over the airways.

There’s an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal analysing the effect that the financial crisis is having on the US election campaign.

The main line of argument is that : “There is simply no way to blame this disaster, as Republicans used to do, on labor unions or over-regulation. No, this is the conservatives’ beloved financial system doing what comes naturally.”

The question is, will Obama be ready to step to this financial challenge in a convincing manner? Guess it has similarities to New Labour, previously seen as the party of boom and bust, marketing itself as the party of the economy in the ’97 election campaign.

The days of reckoning

It’s perhaps an understatement to apply the word ironic to the fact that the BBC’s black music channel 1Xrtra chose to feature the contenders in Forbes magazine’s hip-hop rich list on the same day that AIG ended up being nationalised and Wall Street continued to reel from the Lehman Brothers fall-out.


On Today this morning a Wall Street Journal columnist described the recent meltdown as a day of reckoning for America. Now is the time for consumers to hold themselves to account for overextending themselves financially, he proclaimed.


This leads me to wonder what effect this new economic climate will have on hip-hop, a musical genre which for well over a decade celebrated the cult of bling, idolised consumerism and deified the dollar for the dollars sake.


Puff Daddy, who was one of the first on the urban scene to milk substantial revenue streams from rap music, used his YouTube channel to urge OPEC countries to reduce the price they charge for the price of oil. Puffy apparently has been forced to ditch his private jet in favour of flying coach with American Airlines. Oh how the mighty have fallen.


Maybe Kanye’s new track Love Lockdown, which has got everyone scratching their heads due to its pared-down sound and ‘interesting’ vocals, symbolises the first nail in the coffin of the opulent consumption.