As an investor, your job is to make profits. As a journalist, a reporter's job it to make copy. Let The Business Press Maven hold your hand through an explanation of how the two aims can conflict, confuse, cross, concuss and convulse. (Bet you thought I couldn't come up with that fifth one, huh?) Just this week, the business media declared the housing market dead, again. Why is this significant? Because only a few weeks ago, milking a hopeful story line out of a statistical blip, the business media declared the housing market on its glorious way to recovery. It was during this past Holy Season (late December) that The Business Press Maven had to throw verbal haymakers at the idea expressed by the business media that the housing slump was over. Boy, were they looking to make copy in the quiet of the holiday period. Without much other news around, scribes from the wire services to The Wall Street Journal took two modest (warm weather-influenced) blips up in existing home sales numbers and wove it into headlines, leads and tall tales about the housing bust being over. The Business Press Maven put down his egg nog long enough to perform some kung fu on this nonsense, pointing out -- among other things -- that the housing market was still obviously weak in key growth sectors of the country and builders would have to write off land for plots that people were going to build on but had backed out of.