Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Circuit Break

Headline: Why Circuit City Busted, While Best Buy Boomed

It's one thing to report on a major company's financial blunders and giving explanation to why this may have occurred, but it is completely different when the reasons for the fall of a business are not supported by substantial evidence. A reporter's job is to reduntantly use the phrase "he/she said" after any statement that relfects a decision or action not already universally known. Throughout this article about Circuit City's bankruptcy, the writer refers to the issue as results of lack of management or poor customer service; however, she does not cite any sources to back up her arguement. In fact her only two sourcces do not even reflect on any of the issues she raises in the article about why Circuit City busted.
For instance her first reference, David Schick, merely says that business was great at one time but never adapted, and stops there. From that simple statement, the writer drew inferences and exaggerated the claims against the company. Since that was her only quote and source until the end of the story, one could only infer that she based her conclusions on his interview. How does she know about the real-estate issue which she approaches mid-story, or the Web presence neglegence? I did not see any mention of an interview with professionals or even consumers from either of those fields. She does the same thing with Helen Bulwik's inventory statement.
The subject that caught me most off guard was her idea of its customer service resulting most in their failing, according to the reporter anyway. Again, there is no attribution to this statement; her basis is the fact that they laid off higher paid employees to bring in cheaper labor. Couldn't this be a result of the poor economy and not automatically mean poor service? Maybe she could have used a customer's perspective here. Plus, if you search for a particular company's complaints and put just that into a search engine, of course it will come up with thousands of results. I am sure this would also happen with Best Buy, which the writer positively mentions throughout the story.
I can't say I disagree with some of her arguements, but I would not insinuate my opinions in a news story. She could have even focused more on the economic downfall of our nation as a reason for their bankruptcy insted of just saying "it played no small role." I don't know if maybe this reporter had a negative experience at a Circuit City store or what, but even if so, it should in now way reflect in her article.
What do you think??