Friday, June 27, 2008

Introducing the Hinge Awards for inferior financial reporting

Every week brings its own set of inane articles in the financial press. The time has arrived to start awarding prizes for the worst examples of mainstream financial articles. Maybe in some small way this will help enable the improvement in business reporting, however unlikely the probability.

To kick this off, a set of three Hinge Awards have been created that will be presented quarterly. Naturally none of these awards are for excellence in financial reporting; in fact they are to outline examples of inferior business press.

The three categories for the Hinge Awards are provided below:

HingePitch – an article which is really a disguised pitch for a company, product, or service while pretending to give useful information. These pitches are common in the industry. Nearly 20% of the articles read in the mainstream financial media are effectively "paid-for" placement pieces. However some of these articles perform such a commendable pitch for a product while pretending to be an unbiased neutral resource that they are worthy of an award - especially if the product or service is really not in the best interest of most consumers.

HingeDuh – awarded for personal finance article where the information is obvious even to the most dimwitted consumer. The majority of these articles of fluff pieces containing meaningless quotes from selected "subject matter experts" with the simple objective of enabling the article to be at least an entire page long. Leading to the immediate question - don't the editors have something more meaningful for these business mavens to be writing about.

HingeCrock – the underlying facts are absolutely wrong in the article or the conclusions make no economic sense. Many of these articles use the selectable parsing of "facts" to slant the conclusions towards a designated point of view. A vast majority are politically oriented and have a pre-selected bias. Most turn plausible financial ingredients into inedible economic gruel.

Send your nominations to
Please list the award category in the subject header.