Braden writes, “The Observer, in the nation’s second-largest banking hub, has a nominal banking beat, but the city lacks comprehensive coverage of big business and rarely exposes corporate malfeasance. (Deon Roberts, who covered banking for the Observer from 2013 to 2019, left to run communications for Brighthouse Financial.) ‘There are not that many people paying attention to what our biggest companies are doing,’ Mecia says, ‘to say nothing of what our smaller companies are doing.’ Another blind spot is the multibillion-dollar business of sports, a major driver of development.
An issue that did get traction was the startling revelation that corporate investors purchased 25% of homes for sale in Charlotte in 2021. (This news was the product not of a local investigation but a Washington Post analysis.) Local media and even The New York Times picked up the story—to little effect. Investors continue to snap up homes, which contributes to a housing affordability problem that’s worsened despite consistent coverage. For short-staffed and cash-strapped outlets, it’s harder to root out causes than report on effects, and harder still to galvanize their niche audiences into action.”
Read more here.
Allison Braden Addresses News Coverage Issues in Charlotte Magazine
In her recent article for Charlotte Magazine, Allison Braden sheds light on the problems surrounding news coverage in the city of Charlotte, with a particular focus on business news.
The main issue highlighted by Braden is the lack of comprehensive coverage when it comes to big businesses operating within the city. Despite being home to one of the nation’s largest banking hubs, The Observer only has a nominal banking beat and rarely exposes corporate malfeasance. This gap in reporting leaves readers uninformed about what major companies are doing and fails to hold them accountable for any wrongdoing. Deon Roberts, who covered banking for The Observer from 2013 to 2019, even left his position to work in communications for Brighthouse Financial.
Braden also points out another blind spot in local media: sports business. With sports being a significant driver of development and generating billions of dollars in revenue, there is surprisingly little attention given to this industry by news outlets.
Housing Affordability Problem Ignored by Local Media
A notable example mentioned by Braden is the revelation that corporate investors purchased 25% of homes for sale in Charlotte in 2021. This information was not uncovered through a local investigation but rather an analysis conducted by The Washington Post. Despite this alarming statistic, both local media and even national publications like The New York Times failed to generate significant impact or action from their coverage.
This lack of response highlights the challenges faced by understaffed and financially constrained news outlets. It’s easier for them to report on the effects of issues such as housing affordability than it is to investigate and address their underlying causes. Furthermore, mobilizing niche audiences into taking action becomes increasingly difficult when resources are limited.
Allison Braden’s article brings attention to the shortcomings of news coverage in Charlotte, particularly regarding business news. With insufficient reporting on big businesses and sports-related developments, readers are left uninformed about important aspects of their city’s economy.
The failure to expose corporate malfeasance further erodes public trust while allowing major companies to operate without accountability. Additionally, overlooking critical issues like housing affordability perpetuates problems instead of driving meaningful change.
To read Allison Braden’s full article, click here.