I had a discussion tangentially related to this last week on Right Angle with Bill Whittle and Scott Ott. Scott said that what newspapers need is the same thing you’ll find on any map: A legend. On a map, the legend gives you the inch-to-mile scale, brief explanations of the symbols used, and that kind of thing. Newspapers should tell you, right on the front page, what their standards of reporting are. And then, story by story, you the reader could judge whether the paper lived up to its own standards.
It isn’t a bad idea, which is why the press would never go for it.
And if you’re interested, it was the report that the Washington Post’s senior editors spiked a Justin Fairfax story early on that prompted all this on my R/A segment.