In addition to the societal level of interactions, communication organizations and professionals engage in self-criticism and set standards for their own conduct and performance as information gatherers. One of the most conspicuous examples of this lies in the proliferation of codes of conduct for mass communication activities at all levels. As our discussion of positive and negative obligations (above) demonstrated, every mass communication industry develops these professional and organizational guidelines for its practitioners.
In the news industries, codes have expanded in number and scope over several decades. Organizations that have adopted such codes include the American Society of News Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press Managing Editors Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the National Press Photographers Association. Individual news organizations and publications frequently establish their own codes to which they expect their staffs to adhere.