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Media Accountability Today... and Tomorrow
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.