What Social Media Needs to Learn From Traditional Media

Government regulation will never fix everything wrong with online discourse. The industry needs to develop professional norms—just as journalism once did. 

On October 10, 1999, The Los Angeles Times published a special issue of its Sunday magazine devoted entirely to the opening of the Staples Center arena in downtown LA. Apparently unbeknownst to the Times editorial staff, including the writers and editors who put the magazine together, the paper had struck a deal with the owners of the Staples Center to split the profits from the ads sold in the issue.

When the staff found out about the arrangement, they rebelled. More than 300 reporters and editors signed a petition demanding

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