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Corruption and Publicity

The media’s impact on corruption and its social judgement

Erzsébeth Németh
Head of Department,, State Audit Office of Hungary

Gábor Körmendi
Press Secretary, State Audit Office of Hungary

Beatrix Kiss
Communications Officer, Department of Communications and Parliamentary Relations, State Audit Office of Hungary
Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2011/1 (p. 58-66.)


SUMMARY: The present study sets out to examine the subject of corruption and publicity. It states that: 1. publicity can help to uncover and prevent corruption, and take sanctions against it, 2. business and political interests might hinder the media’s effective anti-corruption activities; 3. the media are able to influence the social judgement of the extent and frequency of corruption. The study proposes to investigate, with empirical research, the links between the level of corruption, its media presentation and its social perception. Methods: the prevalence of some keywords and expressions (corruption, bribe, slush-fund, severance pay) were examined in two leading daily political newspapers published in 2009 and 2010. The results were compared to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, published six months later and the corruption ranking, based on it. Results: the number of media reports on corruption increased between 2009 and 2010, as well as its social perception. Conclusions: if corruption cases are uncovered and presented by the media, thus reducing the chance of corruption, its social perception will increase.
KEYWORDS: corruption, media, social perception
JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE (JEL) KÓD: D73, D71, L82


 

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