Self-Regulation of Media

When media organizations set rules for how reporters and others who work for media outlets conduct business, it is referred to as self-regulation. This is different from having laws in place or regulator agencies overseeing the media. The regulations cover a range of ventures, including codes of conduct and dispute resolution.

Self-regulation is more suited to a democracy with freedom of speech than having the government censor information or control the work of reporters. With self-regulation, the media polices itself, detecting bias and errors and enforcing rules of conduct. It is considered more flexible since the people providing the oversight have first hand experience. On the other hand it is also criticized for this same reason, being too flexible and too concerned with the needs of the media industry and not enough with the needs of the public.

One common way of disciplining for infractions is requiring the outlet to publish a retraction. In some cases, a reporter or other industry worker might be dropped from a trade organization.

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