Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information” according to the United States Society of Professional Journalists. The term false balance is the superficial balance that provides the audience with both sides of the story present. This can also be informational bias as journalists present a particular issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints. However just because it is stated that a report is balanced and provides equal information does not mean that both sides of the story are in fact equal or furthermore accurate.
Journalists have profound ethical responsibilities when covering stories and issues both expansive and critical, much like climate change. These journalists are not only reporting these concerns during a time where their own line of work is changing, but also during a time of profound global economic and financial uncertainty (Ward 2009). This type of uncertainty is compounded by the ongoing threats of divisive wars and terrorist activities, which in hand confounds journalist’s approach to these expansive and critical issues (Ward 2009).
What has been considered as a major challenge to the free flow of information, the commercialisation of media has resulted in news becoming a commercial product. As the concentration of media ownership is increasing, the level of freedom and independence of news and differing views is reducing. In some nations, powerful corporations are becoming major influences on mainstream media. This in particular has caused a reduction in diversity and depth in content that is being presented to mass audiences.