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I want and expect, accurate, unbiased news reporting.

I want and expect, accurate, unbiased news reporting.

    1. Accounting and Financial Statements were the same once

    Not so long ago the stock market was just as unregulated with "Fake" financial statements and no consequences for false reporting, poor standards and inconsistent methods of reporting results. It has not been solved completely e.g. Enron etc. but the States decided it was necessary to regulate who could call themselves an Accountant or a Plumber or an Electrician and license them. This led to disciplinary action and law suits for unethical behavior's and false reporting. The idea of audited financial statements meant the public would be better informed about the accuracy of what they were reading because the companies were required to have an independent licensed CPA check their published documents (Financial Statements).

    The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was passed by Congress in response to widespread corporate fraud and failures.

    • The act implemented new rules for corporations, such as setting new auditor standards to reduce conflicts of interest and transferring responsibility for the complete and accurate handling of financial reports to the Managers of the business that were publishing the report.
    • To deter fraud and misappropriation of corporate assets, the act imposes harsher penalties for violators.
    • To increase transparency, the act enhanced disclosure requirements, such as disclosing material off-balance sheet arrangements. ( WikiPedia).
    • In large public companies now the directors have to sign off and take responsibility as to the truth of the statements they disseminate.

    2. Appoint an independent body to educate and apply tests to allow a respectable profession of licensed journalists like the AICPA with ethical standards.

    Professional Journalists Organizations appear to lack the teeth necessary to get unethical journalists barred from unethical reporting or bias. A State License might solve this.

    3. Encourage some definitions to highlight and separate propaganda from news. For example a newspaper or media outlet is not able to call itself a news media or outlet if it disseminates bias in the product.

    Currently advertising standards require adverts to be flagged if they look too much like a news article. Biased reporting will need to be highlighted and flagged the same way or face fines from the state governments in which they appear.

    4. In addition to having circulation numbers audited as is currently the case for newspapers this protocol needs to be expanded to all media outlets that have claimed circulation numbers.

    Much of the fake news we see is allegedly created by bots or 1,000's of bots some from foreign governments seeking to manipulate our domestic values. Blockchain could have a solution for media reporting and comments that grouped media and comments by a verified source.

    5. The accounting profession has an independent international standards board that sets standards and allows for changes in the way data is reported. Journalism needs the an independent standards board.

    This board will need support from all the state governments as far as licensing individuals and disciplining unethical behavior.

    6. All media produced by organizations should be subject to an independent annual audit that rates the level of bias in their reporting.

    Advertising supports journalism but "click bait" has created a vicious cycle where "fake news" is attracting advertising money at the expense of unbiased reporting.

    7. Integrity in Journalism

    Ultimately we expect but do not get integrity in biased propaganda articles. At the end of the day we need the management of the Media outlet or paper to sign off on and take responsibility for the research undertaken prior to publication and the accuracy and unbiased nature of their reporting. Fines and penalties just like the Sarbanes Oxley Act could be applied to all National or International media producers of a certain size.

    8. The word "NEWS" should mean something

    In the USA if you want to call yourself an accountant you have to be licensed by the state in which you are producing reports. If you use the word NEWS in an article, publication or online it you should be subject to external review otherwise it is just propaganda. The word implies unbiased reporting. If you do not want to be licensed to use that word then you need to flag your articles propaganda or subject to a disclosure that you are not a licensed professional journalist.

    9. Bad news gets more clicks.

    I would like to get more balanced news. I would love it if the organizations were required to disclose a ratio of good to bad news reporting each year as part of their ethical audit.

    10. Ethics

    A large CPA firm was recently caught out and fined for cheating on the ethics exams! So we know none of this is going to fix the problem entirely. However, can we at least try to regulate our media enough so that large well funded foreign countries, wealthy businesses, politicians and individuals cannot buy the reporting bias that we see happening everyday and call it "NEWS".

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