Originally Posted by The Question
That's one reason, besides his own personal needs and desires, why his personal life and dayjob as a reporter is so necessary. A super powered alien who inflicts his will and his justice on the world is a tyrant. A jorunalist who uses his writing and his mind to expose evil acts and bring the people who commited those acts to justice is a hero. Not that the two should bleed into each other, because it's all his life, and he should certainly use his powers to dig up information for his stories, but that seems like a very good and practical way to address the characters' social concience.
The battle for truth and justice doesn't cease when he puts on his glasses!
This scenario illustrates the point.....
Superman saves the lives of a small village from heavily armed attackers/terrorists. The weaponry is cutting edge and of American manufacture, as Clark Kent he investigates and discovers a weapons black market that benefits the profits of said manufacturer and reveals that information via the power of the press.
Superman is powerless against the company, obviously if he trashed the company he would be public enemy #1, but as Clark he is free to act.