Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rex A. Martin
News media self-regulation—the monitoring of news production by the profession itself as opposed to external control—is one of the mainstays of the concept of press freedom. In general, the public values the ability of news media to report freely, to criticize freely, to serve as its watchdog; but simultaneously, the public expects journalists to uphold certain ethical standards, be mindful of the rights of both readers and subjects, and to be, as far as possible, truthful and balanced in their reports. Yet occasionally excesses occur and a media story appears which causes both the public and politicians to question the integrity of journalists and journalism in general. Philosopher Stephen Carter suggests that the very nature of journalism can lead to instances where newsmen are so insulated from the rest of society that their decisions are made with a warped sense of their own worth. He has termed this “First Amendment ...