'Most Accurate Economist' receives Lawrence R. Klein Award

October 5, 2009

Not many people could have foreseen the economic roller coaster that evolved over the last few years. However, Goldman Sachs Chief U.S. Economist Jan Hatzius is being recognized for his uncanny economic forecasting that anticipated the global financial crisis.

Hatzius will receive the 2009 Lawrence R. Klein Award for accuracy at an upcoming ceremony in New York. Nobel Prize winner Klein, himself, will present Hatzius with the award. Then Hatzius will deliver his 2010 economic forecast. Download Full Image

"I'm honored to receive this award on behalf of the U.S. economics team, including my colleagues Ed McKelvey and Andrew Tilton," Hatzius says. "Given the uncertainty of the current post-crisis environment, unbiased and hopefully accurate economic analysis is more important than ever to our clients. We very much look forward to sharing our perspective on where the economy and the markets are likely to be heading."

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University sponsors and judges the Lawrence R. Klein Award, regarded as one of the most prestigious and longest-standing awards in the economic profession. Hatzius won the award for having the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey participants for the years 2005 to 2008. The survey involves a consensus panel of the top 50 economic forecasters in the United States. The resulting newsletter has been published for more than 30 years and is regarded as the "gold standard" of business forecasts.

"Jan Hatzius' forecasts stood out among an extremely impressive field," says research professor of economics Lee McPheters of the W. P. Carey School of Business. "The winner was determined by projections made over the past four years, when we had both expansion and contraction. Hatzius anticipated the turning points for key indicators with more accuracy than any other leading forecaster."

This year, Hatzius has also been honored by The Wall Street Journal and Institutional Investor as the No. 1 economic forecaster in the United States. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 and is now responsible for setting the firm's U.S. economic and interest rate outlook. In his current role as chief U.S. economist at Goldman Sachs, he succeeded William Dudley, who is now president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Hatzius has been published on a broad range of macroeconomic issues, with an emphasis on the housing and credit market boom/bust cycle.

Hatzius' 2010 forecast will contain several key messages for those watching the markets. Among his predictions:

• More anemic growth in 2010 to follow the real GDP rise during the second half of 2009
• An unemployment rate of about 10.5 percent by the end of 2010
• Inflation will not be a significant threat over the next few years

The Lawrence R. Klein Award ceremony will be held at the University Club in New York on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. Randell E. Moore, executive editor of Blue Chip Economic Indicators, will be among those attending.

Disability Center comes to Cronkite School

October 5, 2009

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is the new home for the National Center on Disability & Journalism.

The NCDJ provides resources, including a style guide and reporter tip sheet and source list, for journalists covering people with disabilities. The center’s Web site, hosted at the Cronkite School, also provides a forum for journalists and people with disabilities to share and comment on news coverage. Download Full Image

The center was launched in 1998 in San Francisco as the Disability Media Project to raise awareness of how the news media cover people with disabilities. In 2000, the center’s name was changed to the National Center on Disability & Journalism, and it operated for a time out of Boston. In 2008, the center’s board decided to seek an affiliation with a university journalism program. The center has an office in the new Cronkite building in downtown Phoenix and is staffed by Cronkite graduate student Jake Geller, who himself has a disability. Cronkite Assistant Dean Kristin Gilger oversees the center.

Gilger says the news media have lagged behind in coverage of disabilities. At least 19 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of disability, defined by the American with Disabilities Act as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.”

“The mainstream press frequently under-covers this segment of the population or the coverage is inaccurate or incomplete,” Gilger says. “We hope to help reporters do a better job, not because we advocate a particular point of view but because we are concerned about the journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness and diversity in news coverage.”

For example, the center offers advice to reporters on how to approach an interview with a person who has a disability and suggests when it’s appropriate to use the terms “handicapped” or “disabled.”

Geller, who also is the lead writer for an NCDJ blog on disability issues, said he hopes the center will become “the starting point for journalists working on stories about people with disabilities and a place where journalists will share what they do and how they can improve their storytelling abilities.”

A national advisory board of journalists and disability experts help lead the center. The newly named board members are:

• Jennifer LaFleur, director of computer-assisted reporting for ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization that produces journalism in the public interest;

• Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at the Cronkite School and a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter;

• Suzanne Robitaille, founder and editor-in-chief of http://abledbody.com/" target="_blank" title="blocked::Abledbody.com">http://abledbody.com/">Abledbody.com, a consumer Web site that covers disability news and assistive technology;

• Nan Connolly, former business editor with Knight Ridder who teaches news reporting at the Nicholson School of Communication, University of Central Florida;

• Beth Haller, professor of journalism/new media at Towson University in Maryland and former co-editor of the Society for Disability Studies’ scholarly journal “Disability Studies;”

• Greg Smith, book author and host and producer of the nationally syndicated radio program “On A Roll – Talk Radio on Life & Disability.”

LaFleur who has written extensively about disabilities, said she’s excited to see the NCDJ up and running. “I’m honored to be a part of it,” she says. “My hope is that the NCDJ will be a resource for reporters in covering the real issues that affect people with disabilities.”

For more information, visit www.ncdj.org.">http://www.ncdj.org/">www.ncdj.org.