TV vs Blogs, Jargon Edition

The lack of interactivity on television seems to be haunting Bloomberg. Paul

Kedrosky is watching TV:

Bloomberg TV is apparently watching Fox Business News. The same way that

Fox is making a point of trying to force guests and host to avoid biz jargon,

or at least define it, in the last few minutes I have seen a Bloomberg host

ask a guest to explain backwardation, contango, and a steepening yield curve.

It’s all good, but the guests should be warned beforehand. Both guests looked

like they had been unexpectedly asked why they breathe regularly.

Note that Kedrosky himself, writing in an interactive medium (a blog) feels

no need to define these terms. Maybe he’s just trying to make his readers feel

smart, a la Tyler

Cowen, but in fact he knows full well that if anybody wants to know what

any of these terms means, they’re by definition online, if they’re reading his

blog, and it’s the work of seconds to find out. Someone watching TV, by contrast,

has no easy way of remembering which is which when it comes to backwardation

and contango, which puts Bloomberg TV in an impossible situation. Do they not

define the terms, and risk confusing their viewers, or do they take time to

define the terms, and risk patronising them?

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