Even the casual reader of our little corner of internet real estate knows that I’m not terribly fond of the mainstream media (MSM). I’ve met some very cool people that work in the MSM industrial complex, and I don’t hold that against them. Heck, my own daughter has her eyes set on a higher education in journalism. I don’t believe my disdain for the MSM is the fault of the worker bee collective.
It may be a problem with what we the citizens, the clients of the MSM, have come to accept. Or expect. Whatever.
What’s my problem with the MSM?
Sensationalism. One-sided reporting. Doom and gloom.
Lying in bed this morning pursing through the half-billion news and whatnot feeds I have (bless the iPad) I was struck, yet again, with how negative the MSM is about the real estate market. Here are some sample headlines from the past few days:
- Homebuyers Hunker Down as Housing’s Drag on Economy May Worsen
- Housing bust derails path to assisted living for some
- New housing market stays behind last year’s pace
- Lack of Move-Up Buyers Holding Back House Prices
- Housing market holds back local economy
- Slow crawl to recovery: Builders still reeling from housing bust
- July real estate market fell short of expectations
- Housing market struggling to recover
- ‘Dysfunctional’ housing market has bad month
- Brokerage firms feel sting of valley foreclosure crisis
My first thought in scrolling through the negativity was of one of my favorite movie characters of all time ”“ Sergeant Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes.
Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
— Sgt. Oddball.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Phoenix real estate market is not all puppies and bunnies. There is a lot wrong with today’s real estate market.
But there are some right things, or at least turning right, that seem to consistently escape the attention of the MSM. Oddball’s “beautiful and righteous” may be a stretch, but “hopeful” is well within reach.
Here are some headlines that could be written today, at least with respect to the Phoenix real estate market:
- June home sales sets record
- Housing inventory at 2003 levels
- Home seller’s seeing multiple offers
- Home sales up over 20% since 2009
- Seller’s average getting 96% of list price
The problem with those headlines is of course, they are not sensationalistic. They don’t sell newspapers and ads, despite the truth such articles would convey. Why not provide a fair and balanced perspective on the real estate market? “Fair and Balanced”, hey that’d be an awesome tag line for a MSM company! Oh, wait. Someone already claimed that title”¦ There’s a difference though in proclaiming from on high that you are “fair and balanced” and actually, you know, being fair and balanced.
Maybe that company and their pals should think about reporting the other side of the story sometime. I’m not saying they should hide the bad news and blow sunshine up people’s posteriors. But what is wrong with occasionally reporting the complete story? Does everything reported in the MSM have to be of the doom and gloom there is no hope of recovery ever and we’re all going to die in the poorhouse variety?
It’s not great out there folks, but there are some positive indicators the market is turning. I’m not foolish enough to “call the bottom” or predict anything about the near-term future of the Phoenix real estate market. But denying some of the facts, whether they sell newspapers or not, doesn’t make them go away”¦