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
Key Documents: Section II. Codes of Ethics/Newsroom Policies and Standards - Introduction
American media organizations have worn the mantle of public watchdog throughout the country's history. Journalists of every type are charged with the task of constantly scrutinizing those in power, political or otherwise, and the ways in which they wield influence. Inevitably the question arises about who is watching the watchdogs and what guidelines exist for the way their power gets used. Despite the voluminous amount of law enacted in this area over the years (as documented in the previous section), the journalism establishment has substantially policed its own day-to-day reporting via codes of ethics and newsroom policy statements. A series of high-profile indiscretions dating from the late 1990s prompted a large ...