Models of Self-Regulation: Examples of Good Practice

In this overview, conducted within the regional initiative “Our Media: A civil society action to generate media literacy and activism, counter polarisation and promote dialogue”, author Ilinka Todorovski presents five models of media self-regulation, the BBC (United Kingdom), the NPR (United States), the EER (Estonia), The Guardian (United Kingdom), and RTV Slovenija (Slovenia).

The selection provides insights into different formalized self-regulatory practices with different histories and in different media landscapes, in Europe and beyond, in public service media and in private companies.

The objectives of self-regulatory mechanisms are, at a general level, to ensure that standards are respected and, at a practical level (especially in contrast to court proceedings), to respond quickly, flexibly, and professionally to the day-to-day dilemmas of media work. Self-regulation also means encouraging continuous journalistic reflection on professional rights and wrongs, correcting mistakes on an ongoing basis, and (self-)reacting to and curbing bad practices, but also encouraging journalists and media outlets to accept criticism and engage in dialogue with audiences.

A well-functioning self-regulatory mechanism does not mean that new rules are imposed on journalists from outside or that there is blanket public scrutiny of their work, but rather that there is an opportunity for the critical judge of the journalistic product to be someone from within journalism itself, with experience, knowledge, and reputation, someone who is able to interpret the accepted ethical and professional standards to the public while at the same time demand, with the power of professional argument and authority, that journalists adhere to these standards.

Read the full overview in English.

Funded by the European Union.

The regional program “Our Media: A civil society action to generate media literacy and activism, counter polarisation and promote dialogue” is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by partner organizations SEENPMAlbanian Media InstituteMediacentar SarajevoPress Council of KosovoMontenegrin Media InstituteMacedonian Institute for MediaNovi Sad School of JournalismPeace Institute and Bianet.

This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of SEENPM and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.