A bill filed by Republicans in the Georgia House this week proposes a “Journalism Ethics Board” to oversee news coverage in the state. It also suggests fines and sanctions to punish outlets that don’t comply with parts of the proposed law.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Andy Welch, calls for the creation of an “independent” board to make “canons and ethics” and “rules and regulations” for journalism in Georgia. The board would be housed at the University of Georgia’s journalism and communications school and comprise three editors, three news producers, two digital journalists and one retired journalism professor.
The legislation says the board could investigate complaints about ethics violations, and develop a “voluntary accreditation process in journalism ethics,” which would only be awarded to news organizations where every employee has accreditation. Accredited journalists and outlets could be “sanctioned” for violations, which could include “probation” and “public reprimand.”