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Industry-wide self regulation

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by baconboy, May 24, 2007.

  1. baconboy

    baconboy New Member

    This was borne of the dust-up I got mixed up in with my very first posts over in the "bloggers in the press box thread."

    But it's an entirely different topic and deserves it's own thread. I also believe it's a very big issue that could do a lot to help the profession: industry-wide self regulation.

    The problem: no matter what the industry thinks of itself, there is a huge, huge, credibility gap. The public simply does not trust the media. There have plenty of reasons not to, too, when you look at the many abuses by journalists out there. Mainly, the media is a completely unregulated industry that answers to nobody, and when people abuse their power, it makes all of us look bad.

    All the folks media like to put under the microscope at least have to answer to somebody: politicians put their ass on the line every election; businesses must answer to stockholders and, even more importantly, must battle it out everyday in the marketplace; the investment industry (a popular media target) is hugely regulated to the point that people have their careers tossed in the dumper each and every day for seemingly minor infractions.

    Most of the standards set by the investment industry comes from a self-regulating organization with some teeth, the NASD (In between newspaper jobs I worked several years in the communications department of a big finance firm ... the standards these guys are held to are pretty daunting ... fill in paperwork the wrong way and you can lose your job.)

    The media?

    We have the power to ruin lives, yet answer to nobody. It creates huge issues of trust.

    I think the industry needs an SRO - a self-regulating organization. This would be a collection of individuals from various elements of the media who attempt to bring some sort of standards to an industry with none and provide a place for the public (and media, too) to file grievances, point out infractions like plagiarism, etc. Right now, a big-name reporter can get caught plagiarizing numerous times before their employer acts. The public, meanwhile, has nowhere to turn when they find obvious infractions and breeches of journalistic ethics.

    It would go a long way toward giving the media some credibility. Right now, just about everyone in the world must answer to somebody. Then they see an all-powerful media that answers to nobody. It's a huge reason for the credibility gap.

    Certainly, the government shouldn't be in the media regulation business. So, for the health of the industry, I think we need to do it ourselves. It would do nothing but give the industry some credibility in the eyes of a public that simply does not trust the profession of journalism.
  2. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Honestly, what does it take to get this guy the bunny/pancake treatment?
  3. Highway 101

    Highway 101 Active Member

    Doesn't that kinda define Poynter???
  4. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    We're regulated by the market and that's how it should be. If the big, bad media is too harsh or too biased, don't buy our stuff. Simple.

    Oh, and at least here in Ontario, and I'd assume in most states, there are such things as press councils which deal with complaints precisely like you suggest.

    There's certainly also law that prevents libel, copyright infringement, etc.
  5. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Again. Bunny. Pancake. Anyone?
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, SSM, I might not be crazy about the idea, but I certainly understand what he's proposing.
  7. baconboy

    baconboy New Member

    Well, I've only made a couple posts here and already realize SSM is a miserable curmudgeon.

    Listen, it's just an idea for discussion.

    The problem is obvious: people do not trust the media. We can pretend that's not the case, or we can try to talk about ways to improve the situation.

    I tossed in my two cents, FWIW.

    SSM reponds like a 2-year-old, offering up the vaunted "pancake/bunny" treatment. I haven't been this scared since I saw Shrek. Really, two posts about the pancake bunny treatment. I guess when nobody laughed the first time, SSM thought the microphone wasn't working.

    Really, how about contributing a little something intelligent to the conversation?

    I'm fine if you disagree with the idea. But step up to the plate with some ideas.

    But I don't think policing ourselves is such a radical solution.
  8. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    But RedCanuck listed all the things in place already - the biggest being the market.

    What more can be done without restricting the freedom of the press?

    Bacon trumpets blogs et al and then wants regulations put in place on media.

    Another example of the (worst and unprofessional) bloggers wanting it both ways.
  9. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    We get it bacon, you're a blogger who wants all the "old media's" rights and freedoms, and then wants to regulate all the "old media's" rights and freedoms to better your blog.
  10. baconboy

    baconboy New Member

    No. Poynter has no teeth.

    Like I said earlier, the NASD is a pretty good model. He helped bring about a lot of trust in the securities world, and helped weed out the people abusing the securities industry, while improving the entire industry's image. This is from its web site:

    About NASD

    As the world's leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, NASD has helped bring integrity to the markets - and confidence to investors -for more than 60 years.

    Our role in the United States is well known - NASD has long served as the primary private-sector regulator of America's securities industry. We oversee the activities of nearly 5,100 brokerage firms, about 171,000 branch offices and more than 663,000 registered securities representatives. In addition, we provide outsourced regulatory products and services to a number of stock markets and exchanges.

    From oversight to education, we touch virtually every aspect of the securities industry. NASD licenses individuals and admits firms to the industry, writes rules to govern their behavior, examines them for regulatory compliance and disciplines those who fail to comply. We oversee and regulate trading in equities, corporate bonds, securities futures and options. And we provide education and qualification examinations to industry professionals while supporting securities firms in their compliance activities. We also operate the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the world, processing over 4,600 arbitrations and nearly 1,000 mediations a year. With a staff of nearly 2,500 and an annual budget of more than $500 million, NASD is a world leader in capital markets regulation.

  11. baconboy

    baconboy New Member

    Who's a blogger? Not me.

    The market works in every industry. Everyone must answer to the market.

    The last person in the world we wants to restrict freedom of the press is me. And, as usual, you can't grasp the concept on the table. I'm talking about self-regulation ... doing things to improve the piss-poor repuation we have out there. That's all. Really, are you capable of grasping any point, ever?

    Either you're a moron, or your intentionally being a dink. I'm guessing the former.
  12. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Some would say a little of both, bacon.

    Look all I'm saying is as soon as you regulate something, you take some of its freedoms away.

    If you're a regulated journalist with a story, you may consider not printing something you know as fact, and which you got from a source you must protect, because the "general public" might see it as "unethical" or a "breech of trust or ethics."

    I don't want to work like that. I, for one, and I'm sure many others on here, aren't "out to ruin lives." We all print what we know as the truth.

    If the public can't handle the truth, don't buy a newspaper - go read a fanboy blog.
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