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Unpublished Paper
"To Be or Not to Be" Responsible: The Effectiveness of Media's Codes of Ethics as Checks on Biased Reporting
ExpressO (2009)
  • Blake D Morant, Wake Forest University
Abstract
“To Be or Not to Be” Responsible: The Effectiveness of the Media’s Codes of Ethics as Checks on Biased Reporting Blake D. Morant Dean and Professor of Law Wake Forest University School of Law “Media bias” has become a clichéd expression. Despite the phrase’s cavalier use by some to minimize the industry’s influence, biased reporting remains an omnipresent cloud on media’s legitimacy as the fourth estate. Polemic issues related to race, gender or traditionally disadvantaged groups, particularly when covered sensationally by news media, exposes problems related to bias and misinformation. This Article deconstructs the problem of media bias through a careful examination of the industry’s function in a respect-based democracy that prompts self-regulatory behavior. Media’s ethical codes, perhaps archetypical forms of self-regulation, potentially minimize misinformation and become the nucleus of a strategy to discourage biased reporting. Noting that codes of ethics are not panaceas, the Article suggests enhancements that bolster the effectiveness of ethical codes and ensure news media’s function as reliable guarantors of a truly deliberative democracy.
Keywords
  • Media,
  • Press,
  • Ethics,
  • Race,
  • Gender,
  • Defamation
Disciplines
Publication Date
March 15, 2009
Citation Information
Blake D Morant. ""To Be or Not to Be" Responsible: The Effectiveness of Media's Codes of Ethics as Checks on Biased Reporting" ExpressO (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/blake_morant/1/