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Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

Media might be the key educator on crime risks, and informed consumers

Dr. Shah Md Ahsan Habib, Professor, BIBM
  08 Oct 2023, 00:00

For more than a century, business and financial executives and researchers have understood that media coverage has benefits and disadvantages. For stability in the banking and financial industry in any country, active and responsible roles on the part of the media are crucial. The areas of media concern range from governance, transparency, financial performance, financial crime, and financial literacy which have implications for the financial stability of the banking industry. The role of media in corporate governance is not limited to exposing wrongdoing, rather media can serve as a channel for banks to demonstrate their commitment to sound governance practices. Media may have a significant impact on the corporate governance landscape of the banking sector by providing information, promoting accountability, influencing public opinion, and contributing to regulatory and market dynamics. Media is expected to report on best practices in corporate governance within the banking industry that can serve as a guide for banks to adopt improved governance structures and processes. When the media highlights corporate governance problems in the banking sector, regulators may take notice and initiate investigations or introduce new regulations to address these issues. Media may act as a basic source of information for the public, investors, and regulators regarding the activities and performance of banks covering financial results, executive compensation, governance structures, corporate social responsibility initiatives, etc.

Individuals and firms should seek information from multiple sources, verify facts, and consult with financial professionals when making important financial decisions. The media serves as a critical channel for disseminating information about banking practices, policies, and regulations to the public including reporting on interest rates, fees, financial products, changes in banking laws and regulations, etc. Financial journalists and analysts provide insights into the banking sector's performance, trends, and risks. Their analysis can help investors, policymakers, and the general public understand the health of banks and the broader financial system.

Investigative journalism and in-depth reporting by media can expose unethical or fraudulent behaviour within banks that can lead to public scrutiny, regulatory investigations, and legal action against individuals or institutions. Investigative journalists often uncover financial crimes, corruption, and unethical practices in the banking sector. It can offer a platform for whistleblowers to come forward with information about criminal activities in the banking industry. Transparent reporting allows the public to be informed about the actions taken against financial institutions involved in criminal activities. Public exposure to these issues can lead to regulatory reforms and legal actions against wrongdoers. The media sometimes investigates and reports on cases of money laundering, especially those involving high-profile individuals or organizations. Their reporting can lead to increased public awareness and government action against money launderers. While reporting on crimes and misconduct may initially erode trust in the banking sector, it is essential for rebuilding trust in the long run. Trust can only be restored if the problems within the industry are acknowledged, addressed, and corrected. Media might be the key educator on crime risks, and informed consumers with better equipped to protect themselves and their assets, reducing the likelihood of falling victim to financial crimes.

Financial literacy is a key determinant of a sound banking system. Media, including newspapers, television, radio, websites, and social media platforms, disseminate information about financial topics, such as banking and stock market updates, economic indicators, and personal finance tips. Media often feature programs, articles, and segments dedicated to educating the public about various financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning. Financial experts, analysts, and advisors are frequently featured in the media, sharing their knowledge and insights. Media may also partner with government agencies, nonprofits, and financial institutions to promote financial literacy campaigns and initiatives. These collaborations can raise awareness and reach a broader audience. Financial journalists also need literacy and capacity development that involves strengthening the skills, resources, and infrastructure necessary for effective and responsible reporting on banking and financial matters. This is crucial for ensuring that the media can provide accurate, balanced, and informative coverage of the banking sector, which is essential for informed decision-making by the public and stakeholders.

It is important to note that media reporting should be accurate, balanced, and fair. False accusations based on inaccurate data can harm innocent individuals and institutions and may harm financial stability. Media need authentic data on that. Sometimes banks and financial institutions conceal information. However, it must also be remembered that banks and financial institutions often deal with sensitive customer data, and they are subject to strict regulations and security standards when it comes to sharing data with the media or any third parties. It is important for banks to strike a balance between the need for transparency and accountability and the imperative to protect customer privacy and data security. Regulatory requirements vary by jurisdiction, and banks are required to ensure compliance with countries and regulations when sharing data with the media.

Irresponsible behaviour on the part of the media might be very dangerous for a sensitive industry like banking. Some media outlets are criticized for prioritizing sensational and attention-grabbing stories over responsible reporting. This can lead to biased or exaggerated coverage of events. In the age of digital media and social networks, misinformation can spread rapidly. Sometimes, catering to specific political or ideological groups can be accused of promoting polarization and division in society by reinforcing existing biases and narratives. The financial industry heavily depends on trust. Media plays a crucial role in trust-building by the public in the banking industry in several ways. Consistent delivery of reliable news fosters trust among the public whereas misleading or false information erodes trust. Positive stories about banking can enhance a bank's image, while negative stories can tarnish it. In this connection, media outlets should hold themselves accountable for their reporting; and be transparent about the sources of the report and methodologies that can help build trust. When common people perceive that media outlets are free from bias and undue influence, they are more likely to trust the information they provide. For building trust in the banking industry, ethical reporting is crucial as respecting privacy, avoiding sensationalism, and showing empathy in reporting. While media outlets need to report on important and impactful stories, sensationalism should be avoided that can erode trust in banks and financial institutions. Especially, striking a balance between attention-grabbing headlines and responsible reporting is crucial.

Comments

Message From The Chief Guest / Fake news is a big threat in the field of Social Media Journalism
Message From The Special Guest / Journalists play an impressive role in capital market reform process
Dialogue of Bankers, Editors & Regulators / THE FINANCIAL SECTOR REFORM: The Roles of Media & Press Freedom
Is MFS really a game changer for poor?
Financial journalists should enrich their knowledge of financial matters

Media might be the key educator on crime risks, and informed consumers

Dr. Shah Md Ahsan Habib, Professor, BIBM
  08 Oct 2023, 00:00

For more than a century, business and financial executives and researchers have understood that media coverage has benefits and disadvantages. For stability in the banking and financial industry in any country, active and responsible roles on the part of the media are crucial. The areas of media concern range from governance, transparency, financial performance, financial crime, and financial literacy which have implications for the financial stability of the banking industry. The role of media in corporate governance is not limited to exposing wrongdoing, rather media can serve as a channel for banks to demonstrate their commitment to sound governance practices. Media may have a significant impact on the corporate governance landscape of the banking sector by providing information, promoting accountability, influencing public opinion, and contributing to regulatory and market dynamics. Media is expected to report on best practices in corporate governance within the banking industry that can serve as a guide for banks to adopt improved governance structures and processes. When the media highlights corporate governance problems in the banking sector, regulators may take notice and initiate investigations or introduce new regulations to address these issues. Media may act as a basic source of information for the public, investors, and regulators regarding the activities and performance of banks covering financial results, executive compensation, governance structures, corporate social responsibility initiatives, etc.

Individuals and firms should seek information from multiple sources, verify facts, and consult with financial professionals when making important financial decisions. The media serves as a critical channel for disseminating information about banking practices, policies, and regulations to the public including reporting on interest rates, fees, financial products, changes in banking laws and regulations, etc. Financial journalists and analysts provide insights into the banking sector's performance, trends, and risks. Their analysis can help investors, policymakers, and the general public understand the health of banks and the broader financial system.

Investigative journalism and in-depth reporting by media can expose unethical or fraudulent behaviour within banks that can lead to public scrutiny, regulatory investigations, and legal action against individuals or institutions. Investigative journalists often uncover financial crimes, corruption, and unethical practices in the banking sector. It can offer a platform for whistleblowers to come forward with information about criminal activities in the banking industry. Transparent reporting allows the public to be informed about the actions taken against financial institutions involved in criminal activities. Public exposure to these issues can lead to regulatory reforms and legal actions against wrongdoers. The media sometimes investigates and reports on cases of money laundering, especially those involving high-profile individuals or organizations. Their reporting can lead to increased public awareness and government action against money launderers. While reporting on crimes and misconduct may initially erode trust in the banking sector, it is essential for rebuilding trust in the long run. Trust can only be restored if the problems within the industry are acknowledged, addressed, and corrected. Media might be the key educator on crime risks, and informed consumers with better equipped to protect themselves and their assets, reducing the likelihood of falling victim to financial crimes.

Financial literacy is a key determinant of a sound banking system. Media, including newspapers, television, radio, websites, and social media platforms, disseminate information about financial topics, such as banking and stock market updates, economic indicators, and personal finance tips. Media often feature programs, articles, and segments dedicated to educating the public about various financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning. Financial experts, analysts, and advisors are frequently featured in the media, sharing their knowledge and insights. Media may also partner with government agencies, nonprofits, and financial institutions to promote financial literacy campaigns and initiatives. These collaborations can raise awareness and reach a broader audience. Financial journalists also need literacy and capacity development that involves strengthening the skills, resources, and infrastructure necessary for effective and responsible reporting on banking and financial matters. This is crucial for ensuring that the media can provide accurate, balanced, and informative coverage of the banking sector, which is essential for informed decision-making by the public and stakeholders.

It is important to note that media reporting should be accurate, balanced, and fair. False accusations based on inaccurate data can harm innocent individuals and institutions and may harm financial stability. Media need authentic data on that. Sometimes banks and financial institutions conceal information. However, it must also be remembered that banks and financial institutions often deal with sensitive customer data, and they are subject to strict regulations and security standards when it comes to sharing data with the media or any third parties. It is important for banks to strike a balance between the need for transparency and accountability and the imperative to protect customer privacy and data security. Regulatory requirements vary by jurisdiction, and banks are required to ensure compliance with countries and regulations when sharing data with the media.

Irresponsible behaviour on the part of the media might be very dangerous for a sensitive industry like banking. Some media outlets are criticized for prioritizing sensational and attention-grabbing stories over responsible reporting. This can lead to biased or exaggerated coverage of events. In the age of digital media and social networks, misinformation can spread rapidly. Sometimes, catering to specific political or ideological groups can be accused of promoting polarization and division in society by reinforcing existing biases and narratives. The financial industry heavily depends on trust. Media plays a crucial role in trust-building by the public in the banking industry in several ways. Consistent delivery of reliable news fosters trust among the public whereas misleading or false information erodes trust. Positive stories about banking can enhance a bank's image, while negative stories can tarnish it. In this connection, media outlets should hold themselves accountable for their reporting; and be transparent about the sources of the report and methodologies that can help build trust. When common people perceive that media outlets are free from bias and undue influence, they are more likely to trust the information they provide. For building trust in the banking industry, ethical reporting is crucial as respecting privacy, avoiding sensationalism, and showing empathy in reporting. While media outlets need to report on important and impactful stories, sensationalism should be avoided that can erode trust in banks and financial institutions. Especially, striking a balance between attention-grabbing headlines and responsible reporting is crucial.

Comments

Message From The Chief Guest / Fake news is a big threat in the field of Social Media Journalism
Message From The Special Guest / Journalists play an impressive role in capital market reform process
Dialogue of Bankers, Editors & Regulators / THE FINANCIAL SECTOR REFORM: The Roles of Media & Press Freedom
Is MFS really a game changer for poor?
Financial journalists should enrich their knowledge of financial matters