The news media is a pillar of democracy: it informs citizens about issues in the public interest and acts as a watchdog over the powers that be. Consequently, journalism plays a significant role in emerging democracies.
To play this role effectively, however, news media need to stand out as credible and respected sources, and to be credible they need to be accountable. As highlighted in Tunis at the WAN-IFRA Arab Free Press Forum, after years of propaganda, it is difficult for newly-free publications to establish themselves as trustworthy sources of news, particularly when facing competition from blogs and social media.
Ethics are a cornerstone for a credible and professional news media environment. As reported by BusinessGhana, media practitioners and associations in the Cote d'Ivoire recently adopted a new code of ethics for journalists at a forum in Abidjan.