Press: Newswatch: Credibility At Stake

Libel suits are a clumsy, costly and inefficient way of getting at the truth. The defending press can be grateful not to have to pay out the millions of dollars demanded in the Westmoreland and Sharon cases (large awards were becoming fashionable), but it cannot be happy about the prolonged and critical examination of flaws in its newsgathering processes.

Nowadays it is hard to find a foundation that hasn't scheduled a seminar about press credibility or a talk show that isn't discussing it. The press has been on a binge of self-consciousness for some time. Since it regards itself as more...

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