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The hacks must try harder

How the mainstream media was beaten by bloggers in setting the agenda

By Felix Salmon   September 2009

Have financial journalists had a good crisis? Some certainly made their names, like BBC business editor Robert Peston, an old-fashioned scoop-getter with good sources. In September 2007 he not only broke one of the biggest stories of the crunch—the Bank of England’s emergency support for Northern Rock—but arguably triggered Britain’s first bank run since 1866.

Others emerged as powerful commentators on financiers’ failings. In the US, a Rolling Stone article in July 2009 by political writer Matt Taibbi about Goldman Sachs started with a bang, likening the firm to a “giant vampire squid wrapped round the face of humanity, relentlessly…

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