International Alliance of Journalists
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Media regulation

Press Ombusmen

Did the press seeking for credibility found her Zorro?

by Frédérique Béal

The three booklets published in 2008 deals with journalism’s regulation, following the example of what Claude Jean Bertrand called « M.A.R.S » (Media Accountability and Responsability System).

The function of mediator, which is a link between media and audience, appeared in 1913 under the name of « ombudsman » in the United States. Then comes the Japanese press which has developed this idea and we have to wait mid 1980s for it to appear in Europe. This Booklet raises the question of whether the Ombudsman is above all a regulator of journalistic practises or a reconciliator of the suspicious relationships that the public has to the media. Is he therefore closer to the audiennce than journalists ?

Having also as reference criteria the deontological texts, the mediator should ideally be independent in order to be able to freely exercise its role of safeguarding the quality of information.

Published on 21 March 2008
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