Media Accountability Today... and Tomorrow

Updating the Concept in Theory and Practice
Editor(s): Torbjörn von Krogh

Tony Blair demands it, Reuters wants it, the Spokane Spokesman-Review practices some of it and scholars try to define it – media accountability.

The need for media accountability was formulated more than 100 years ago and made manifest with codes of ethics and ”bureaus of accuracy”. The Hutchins Commission used the concept in 1947 as a way to avoid government prescription of media content. The practice of media accountability has since been fueled by market expansion, looser regulation of public service and a technological facilitation of media/public interaction.

In March 2007 these issues were discussed in a two-day international conference at the School of Communication and Design, University of Kalmar, Sweden. Scholars gave overviews of Media Accountability Systems (MAS), media journalism, media blogs and the effects of market-driven journalism on media accountability. Practitioners presented cases dealing with victims of the media in the United Kingdom, news ombudsmen and media critique in Scandinavia, and transparency in Spokane, Washington, USA.




Introduction. Media Accountability. A 60-year-old Compromise that Still Holds Promise for the Future
Torbjörn von Krogh

M*A*S in the Present World. An Overview of Media Accountability Systems
Claude-Jean Bertrand

Media Accountability in the Era of Market-driven Journalism
John H. McManus

Example of Internal Media Accountability Systems

“And the Walls Come Tumbling Down”. From Fortress Newsroom to the Transparent Newsroom
Steven A. Smith

Examples of External Media Accountability Systems

Media Journalism ... and the Power of Blogging Citizens
Susanne Fengler

Journalism After the Monopoly on Publishing Has Been Broken
Olav Anders Øvrebø

Media Journalism 2.0
Martin Jönsson

From Opinion Journalism to Internal Strife.<i> Vår grundade mening</i> – A Program of Media Criticism on Swedish Public Radio
Åke Pettersson

From PressWise to MediaWise. Promoting Journalism Ethics in the UK, 1993-2007
Mike Jempson

Ten Things I Want Community Leaders to Know About Journalism. A Former (external) Ombudsman at The Spokesman-Review Teaches Media Literacy
Gordon S. Jackson

Examples of Cooperative Media Accountability Systems

Chink in a Stone Wall. A Presentation of a Readers’ Ombudsman at Bergens Tidende, Norway
Terje Angelshaug

When Readers Wonder. A Column in Bergens Tidende with a Comment
Terje Angelshaug

Watching the Watchdog-Watching Dog. A Call for Active Press-Councils
Claude-Jean Bertrand

“Constructive Criticism” vs Public Scrutiny. Attitudes to Media Accountability in and Outside Swedish News Media
Torbjörn von Krogh

Final Words – New Starting Points
Torbjörn von Krogh


Press Councils in the World – 2007

110 Media Accountability Systems

About the Authors