CJRDaily, i.e. “Real-Time Media Criticism from the Columbia Journalism Review”, takes two high profile financial publications to task for their annual survey editions.

Edward B. Colby in “The Journal Provides Yet Another Senseless Survey” takes the WSJ to task for “…converting seemingly insignificant survey results into grand conclusions.” Despite hiding behind their “consensus” calculations Colby believes that financial journalists should stay out of the forecasting business altogether.

Mark R. Mitchell in “Why Are Journalists So Rich?” has any number of problems with BusinessWeek’s 2006 Investment Outlook edition. To paraphrase, the investment forecasts and advice from financial journalists is generally inane. A series of on one hand, on the other hand “analysis” leaves the reader less informed than before they ever picked up the magazine.

Stephen Baker at BusinessWeek in defense of his publication “..think(s) the misdeeds we’re being charged with are common to most journalism that dares to predict market behavior.

It is difficult to get too angry with journalists who are probably just trying to fill space during a seasonally slow news period. However readers who take seriously the forecasts derived from consensus-type surveys will probably end up angry – angry at themselves.