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
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest in journalism can exist on both the individual and institutional level. Codes of ethics or outright rules traditionally seek to maintain professional distance between reporters and their sources, while keeping news organizations free from financial or other pressures that could potentially bias their news products. It is the latter conflicts that can constitute corruption. Journalists have long prized their independence and ability to report the truth fairly and accurately, which is why, as a profession, journalism has developed boundaries to protect individuals and institutions from both conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment. However, as in other professions at the turn of the twenty-first century, these traditional views risk being undermined by changes in the structure and funding of journalism. This entry describes the scope of conflicts that impede (or can be perceived as impeding) journalists from doing their jobs and explains why the mere appearance of ...