Bear Stearns' collapse in March 2008 changed the tone for financial news coverage, and banks and other financial institutions have been under fire ever since.

Whether the topic du jour is TARP, stress tests, executive compensation, regulatory oversight, risk-management practices, or investor anger, the traditional and digital media have cut the banking industry little slack. Of course, bankers, frustrated by the media's affinity for bad news, haven't taken the criticism lying down. Many have taken their messages directly to the public - sitting for interviews, publishing opinion pieces, holding town hall meetings, and becoming increasingly active in Washington.

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