Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) lists arguments for self-regulation:
- Self-regulation benefits journalists. It increases readers’ trust in the media, as the media supervises its own mistakes. Readers have the opportunity to critically assess whether the media meets the guidelines laid down by the ethical codes. This is particularly welcome in new democracies, most of which are also unfamiliar with an independent press. At the same time, it protects the right of journalists to be independent, and allows them to be judged for professional mistakes not by those in power but by their colleagues.
- Self-regulation benefits readers. They can complain about articles for free – a legal process would be costly. The resolution of disputes is quicker than in court, and the mistakes are acknowledged publicly by the press.
- Self-regulation increases the independence of media, as the offences journalists commit are punished by their colleagues, not by state officials. When it comes to correcting factual errors or violations of personal rights by the press, satisfaction over the judgments of self-regulatory bodies reduces pressure on the judiciary system to sanction journalists.
Self-regulation increases the independence of media, as the offences journalists commit are punished by their colleagues, not by state officials.
- Self-regulation reduces the power of the state over media: when media has the responsibility to adhere to good journalistic practice for the sake of itself, the state does not need to interfere in its activities so energetically. Self-regulation thus secures the independence and quality of journalism. Self-regulation is not a question of self-censorship, but of the endeavour to secure conditions beneficial to the realisation of the freedom of speech. It is about establishing minimum principles on ethics, accuracy, personal rights and so on, while fully preserving editorial freedom on what to report and what opinions to express.
- Self-regulation benefits democracy. Democracy is about a shared culture of disputing in a rational and fair manner. Governments, even if freely elected, are participants in a political contest, and therefore not best-suited to enforcing rationality and fairness. Media self-regulation is an effort to impose democracy’s political culture, independent of political forces. It also advances the transition from a government-owned, state-controlled press to one owned and controlled by civil society.