The Journalism Ratings Board: An Incentive-Based Approach to Cable News Accountability

43 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2011 Last revised: 10 Mar 2015

Andrew D. Selbst

Data & Society Research Institute; Yale Information Society Project

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

The American establishment media is in crisis. With newsmakers primarily driven by profit, sensationalism and partisanship shape news coverage at the expense of information necessary for effective self-government. Focused on cable news in particular, this Note proposes a Journalism Ratings Board to periodically rate news programs based on principles of good journalism. The Board will publish periodic reports and display the news programs’ ratings during the programs themselves, similar to parental guidelines for entertainment programs. In a political and legal climate hostile to command-and-control regulation, such an incentive-based approach will help cable news fulfill the democratic function of the press.

Keywords: journalism, cable news, media, First Amendment, market-based, regulation

Suggested Citation

Selbst, Andrew D., The Journalism Ratings Board: An Incentive-Based Approach to Cable News Accountability (February 1, 2011). 44 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 467 (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1766079

Andrew D. Selbst (Contact Author)

Data & Society Research Institute ( email )

36 West 20th Street
11th Floor
New York,, NY 10011
United States

Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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