Budget coverage – where are the fresh voices?

Newspaper coverage of the budget was pretty good, I thought – but can’t the media find fresh voices to speak about the economy? Year after year, the same old voices are trotted out: Mike Schussler, Chris Hart, Dennis Dykes, George Glynos, Dawie Roodt, Razia Khan… Don’t get me wrong; these are highly qualified and knowlegeable people, but private sector economists represent a particualr point of view (one which, to a large extent, has been discredited in the turmoil of the past few months). And the comments provided by these economists are often platitudinous, to say the least. Why don’t South African journalists turn to academic economists, as their American counterparts do? There, academic economists like Paul Krugman, Robert Shiller and Jamie Galbraith regularly comment on current affairs. Perhaps our local journalists are scared about nuanced comments that do not make good sound bites. So instead we get platitudes.

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