Why Are Gas Prices So High? A Question Media Can't Answer

Over the past few years, we have helped you follow the impact of unprecedented cuts and consolidation in the traditional news media. Now, here’s a new example that affects everyone.

Because of cutbacks in national and local news organizations of all kinds, one of the top questions on the minds of Americans has not been answered – “Why are gas prices so high?”

As the price of gasoline climbed above $4 per gallon, the story remained at the top of the nation’s news agenda. But no reporting has definitively answered the question – “Why?” In dozens of news stories we reviewed, we saw and heard plenty of consumers complaining, many pundits blaming politicians and others. CNN even spent the time and money to commission a poll focusing on who consumers blame for the high prices. But we have yet to find any piece of journalism that reveals why gas costs what it costs.

We have seen and heard a lot of coverage telling us that “the market” sets the pricing. It has been reported the “crude oil prices have jumped.” We have also heard from some that “speculation drives the market.” But the dots have yet to be connected in any logical, explanatory way.

This is not anyone’s fault. It’s just another impact of fewer journalists having to handle more stories, with very few given the time and the resources to take a complicated story and boil it down for a mass audience, without any political bias.