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Journalism and the Credibility of CEOs

Saturday, 17 Mar 2012 | 9:53 AM ET

I was at a confab of business journalists this past week where they released a study of what financial journalists look at when coming up with stories and what they use as sources.

It's kind of interesting if you're in the business. And it is very complimentary to a number of our CNBC journalists, like Andrew Ross Sorkin (okay we borrow him from The New York Times), Jim Cramer and Maria Bartiromo.

But there was one particularly interesting little nugget: CEOs were viewed as the most credible source of company information. This at a time when Corporate America, of which CEOs are the front men, is viewed with some distaste by the general public. Indeed the researchers, when presenting the study at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, noted that other surveys rate CEOS much lower on the credibility scale.

It's hard to say exactly why that paradox exists. Perhaps journalists assume they'll hold the CEO accountable in the end; therefore the CEO has no choice but to be credible. But there are plenty of examples where that assumption falls short, on both sides.

You can check out the survey results here.

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