Misreporting the facts

US journalists are keenly aware of bias:

More than half of newspaper journalists in a recent survey believe an unethical or unprofessional incident occurred in their newsroom within the past five years, while seven out of 10 said they had been accused of bias in the past 12 months, according to a study released today by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

But at least 70% of those polled more often pointed to “factors beyond their control” as the cause of such poor ethical perceptions, rather than their own newspapers’ actions.

More than 30% of respondents, meanwhile, noted problems with sources – anonymous or not – providing misleading or inaccurate information, with the same percentage seeking legal advice on such stories.… 

Some of the results are worrying. For example, more than half the journalists surveyed said they’d worked with a colleague involved in fabrication or “other deliberate conduct.”