Public journalism and the prospects for press accountability

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 11 (3):152 – 158 (1996)
Abstract
It is remarkable how many journalists embrace the principles of public journalism but fail to recognize the importance of applying those principles to journalism itself. While the press stands ready to expand the opportunities for public debate by inviting everyone to participate, journalists typically exempt themselves by declining invitations others are expected to accept. I f indeed the press plays a vitally important role in creating and maintaining the conditions for selfgovernance, as journalists claim whenever they raise the banner of public journalism, the press needs to assume responsibility for-and invite commenta y on-the quality of its performance and the integrity of its practices. In short, the press needs to recognize itself as a distinctively public institution bound by the same standards of accountability expected of other public institutions.
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