The solution? GOVERNMENT REGULATION. Obviously.
A lawyer is governed not just by normal criminal and civil law, but by clearly defined ethics, interpreted by quasi-judicial boards of his or her peers. The same self-regulation is practised by most other professions.
Not journalism. There is no uniform qualification for a reporter, no uniform code of behaviour. Journalism has vigorously resisted any efforts to legally define journalism, or any sort of peer review.
Yes, some of the bigger journalistic organizations have ombudsmen, or public editors, but their only power is suasion. Yes, there are press councils that judge public complaints, but they have no fangs. Yes, some outfits, like CBC, have internal policies that set rules of behaviour for their reporters, but enforcement is at the discretion of managers.
A huge swath of journalism doesn't even bother pretending self-regulation.
And in any event, who is a journalist anymore? The answer is anyone who says "I'm a journalist," and has access to the internet.
But nothing would go further in recapturing public trust than becoming a true profession, with standards, qualifications, accountability and enforceable rules. As much as I shudder at being judged by other journalists, there is no longer any other way.