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
Media Accountability Systems
A media accountability system (M∗A∗S) is a relatively recent concept. It gathers a wide diversity of existing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) whose unifying purpose is to improve news media. Among the better known variations are correction boxes, press councils, news ombudsmen, and even books attacking press misbehavior. An M∗A∗S can be an individual (such as a media reporter) or a structured group (like a television viewers' association). It may consist of a single document (such as a code of ethics), a critical report, or a censorious blog on the Internet. It can also be a process, either short (like an ethical audit) or long (like a university education). Although the terminology is recent, forms of M∗A∗S have existed since the press was born. Why, then, pay more attention to them now? For the same reason that there are more of them: it is widely believed that news media are not yet ...