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Media in Review
        Although not granted so by the Constitution, the media are virtually America’s fourth branch of government. The First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom ... of the press”) gives the media virtual carte blanche to say what they will. Their only fetters are self-imposed rules of ethics and taste.

        The public has come to expect the media to not only gather news but entertain and even be a civilizing force and, more personally, a reassuring companion. We expect the press to be reliable, objective, fair, and reflective of the real world. Often, however, it falls short.

        Media in Review highlights how the media have served the public by promoting truth, freedom, and the public good. It also explores, for example, the impact of the 24-hour news cycle and talk radio. It delves into issues that media people wrestle with in the newsroom and at journalism conferences, issues such as how to cover racial tensions or use leaked information. And it examines ways in which the press has compromised its ethics and objectivity in favor of sensationalism, political correctness, or silence on uncomfortable issues.
        We present this collection with the hope that it will inspire readers with a new enthusiasm and respect for the potential of this “fourth branch of government” and that it will inspire the media themselves to a yet higher standard of achievement.
        You will find our selection of articles within the categories at right.

Journalism and Technology
Media Ethics
Media Issues
Media Trends

Objectivity Problems

Political Correctness
Serving the Public
U.S. Journalism's Blinders

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