And that’s the problem in Duhigg’s piece. While creditors are savvy and ingenious in the way they track data about their customers and train their personnel to make sure they can push the right buttons, consumers are tragically under-informed. And this imbalance goes sadly unmentioned in the article. Yes, creditors are devilishly clever, but cleverness and virtue are not the same thing. As the recession eliminates jobs, customers face ballooning interest rates allowed by fine print in complex contracts with clauses written in dense legalese. Because, unlike the creditors, they don’t have teams of analysts. Instead, consumers expect to rely on journalists to help them understand devious business practices and expose the devil in the details.
11:00 AM - May 19, 2009
The Psychology of Collections
NYT Magazine humanizes credit card companies instead of consumers
‘See you on the other side’ - Meet Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend what little time she had practicing journalism
#Realtalk: This is the best moment to be in journalism - The old stuff isn’t coming back, but that’s okay
Streams of consciousness - Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
Sticking with the truth - How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism
An ink-stained stretch - Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register—and the newspaper industry?
How much of Rosen’s trouble is of his own making?
Cat Fall: A modern tragedy
Max Fisher and the problem with foreign-affairs blogging
“I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here”
David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon commencement speech as a short film
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.