Skip to main content

Media Corruption – Types, Causes and Contexts

  • 162 Accesses

Part of the Library of Public Policy and Public Administration book series (LPPP,volume 15)

Abstract

This chapter will identify and examine the presence of corruption as it is manifested, specifically in the media. As in the case of the general account of corruption examined in Chap. 3, this chapter will also examine media corruption by reference to Plato’s Myth of Gyges (The Republic, Plato. The dialogues of Plato. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., Chicago, Book II, pp 359–361, 1952) as this has contemporary significance and relevance in explaining corruption generally and specifically as it applies to the media. The chapter will use a model of media corruption that shares the same characterizing features of the general account of corruption that was examined in Chap. 3 but designed specifically and developed for application to the phenomenon and practice of corruption in the media (Spence. Corruption in the media. In: Aßländer MS, Hudson S (eds) The handbook of business and corruption: cross-sectoral experiences. Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, pp 453–480, 2017; Spence. Int J Appl Philos 22:2 – Fall 2008:231–241, 2008). As well, the chapter will identify and categorize the different types of media corruption, the ways in which these are caused, and the contexts in which they are manifested in current physical and virtual media environments and practices.

So let the unjust make his unjust attempts in the right way, and lie hidden if he means to be great in his injustice: (he who is found out is nobody:) for the highest reach of injustice is, to be deemed just when you are not.

From the Myth of Gyges, Plato, The Republic, Book II.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-61612-0_4
  • Chapter length: 29 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-61612-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

    See Shoshana Zuboff’s informative and detailed book on surveillance for profit by the big tech companies, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, 2019.

  2. 2.

    The primary generic roles described here are the manifest common roles that emanate from a general social conception and understanding of the respective professional or institutional practices of journalism, advertising, and public relations. Of course, it is possible that some of the specific roles and practices of journalism, advertising, and public relations deviate in various ways from the primary generic roles described here. However, insofar as the primary generic roles of these professions or institutions describe in general terms what the basic and ultimate roles of these professions or institutions are, then these general descriptions are adequate to our purpose of ascertaining the degree of compatibility between those roles.

  3. 3.

    “Public interest” is any interest which impacts directly or indirectly on the collective rights of freedom and wellbeing of the public which comprises of all the citizens of a state or a nation locally, and all the citizens of the world globally.

  4. 4.

    The journalistic principles referred to here are those described in the current Australian journalistic code of ethics, the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) Code of Ethics, but those principles are common to most international journalistic codes of ethics, especially those of democratic states around the world.

  5. 5.

    As per the current Australian Journalism Code of Ethics, the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) Code of Ethics, and most other International Journalism Code of Ethics.

  6. 6.

    For conflict of interest and conflict of roles conducive to media corruption see Spence (2003) Conflict of Interest and Corruption. Melbourne: Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 25–36.

  7. 7.

    For the relevance of truth and knowledge to advertising, see Spence and Van Heekeren 2005, Chapter 6.

  8. 8.

    For a detailed analysis and evaluation of the ethics of media release journalism see Simmons, P. and Spence, E. (2006).

References

  • Barber, Dylan. 2012. Tweet for your supper: The new wave of cash-for-comment. Crikey.Inq (Independent Inquiry Journalism), April 24, 2015. https://www.crikey.com.au/2012/04/24/tweet-for-your-supper-the-new-wave-of-cash-for-comment/. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

  • Businesswire. 2004. Marqui Pays Bloggers In Revolutionary Marketing Move; Generates 244,000 Google Hits in One Week, December 02, 2004. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20041202005541/en/Marqui-Pays-Bloggers-Revolutionary-Marketing-Move-Generates. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

  • Daily Express. 2004. Al Qaeda scouts found ½ mile from PM’s home, August 16, 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  • Daily Telegraph. 2004. Plot to kill Blair foiled—Al Qaeda linked to assassination plan, August 17, 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davey, Melissa. 2015. ‘None of it’s true’: Wellness blogger Belle Gibson admits she never had cancer. The Guardian, April 22, 2015.

    Google Scholar 

  • Elliott, Deni, and Edward Spence. 2018. Ethics for a digital era. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Farsetta, Diane, and Daniel Price. 2006. Fake TV news: Widespread and undisclosed. Centre for Media and Democracy. http://www.prwatch.org/fakenews/execsummary. 6, April.

  • Foroohar, Rana. 2019. Don’t Be Evil: The Case Against Big Tech. London: Allen Lane, Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Francis, Hannah. 2015. Cash-for-posts: The murky ethics of social media stardom. The Sydney Morning Herald, November 7, 2015. https://www.smh.com.au/technology/cash-for-posts-the-murky-ethics-of-social-media-stardom-20151105-gkrs29.html. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

  • ———. 1986. Professional Ethics: The Separatist Thesis. Ethics 96: 282–300.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Greenwald, Robert. 2004. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, documentary film. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outfoxed. Accessed 25 Mar 2020.

  • Hamilton, Janice. 2002. Inquiry highlights cover-up by the major parties. The Guardian, November 6, 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnston, Jane and Zawawi, Clara (eds) 2004. Media Relations. In Public Relations Theory and Practice, 2nd. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller, S, (2018). Corruption. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

    Google Scholar 

  • Milmo, Dan. 2006. Net advertising ‘to overtake national newspapers’. The Guardian, May 31, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oltermann, Philip. 2019. The inside story of Germany’s biggest scandal since the Hitler diaries. The Guardian, December 9, 2019.

    Google Scholar 

  • Plato. 1952. The Dialogues of Plato. Translated by Benjamin Jowett, 359–361. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., Book II.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rose, James. 2018. Facebook and Google dominate online ads. Can alliances between news publishers compete? May 24, 2018. https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2018/facebook-and-google-dominate-online-ads-can-alliances-between-news-publishers-compete/. Accessed 26 Mar 2020.

  • Schwartz, Oscar. 2018. You thought fake news was bad? Deep fakes are where truth goes to die. The Guardian, November 12, 2018.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simmons, Peter, and Edward Spence. 2006. The practice and ethics of media release journalism. Australian Journalism Review 28 (1): 167–181.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spence, Edward. 2003. Conflict of Interest and Corruption. Melbourne: Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 5 (2): 25–36.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2008. Corruption in the Media. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 22:2 – Fall 2008: 231–241.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2009a. A Universal Model for the Normative Evaluation of Internet Information. Ethics and Information Technology 11 (4): 243–253.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2017. Corruption in the Media. In The Handbook of Business and Corruption: Cross-Sectoral Experiences, ed. Michael S. Aßländer and Sarah Hudson, 453–480. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Spence, Edward, and Brett Van Heekeren. 2005. Advertising Ethics. Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spence, Edward, Andrew Alexandra, Aaron Quinn, and Anne Dunn. 2011. Media, Markets and Morals. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stauber, John, and Sheldon Rampton. 1995. Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry. Monroe: Common Courage Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Toppo, Greg. 2005. Education Dept. paid commentator to promote law. USA Today, July 1.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zuboff, Shoshana. 2019. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. London: Profile Books Ltd.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zucchino, David. 2003. Army Stage-Managed Fall of Hussein Statue. Los Angeles Times, July 3.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Spence, E.H. (2021). Media Corruption – Types, Causes and Contexts. In: Media Corruption in the Age of Information. Library of Public Policy and Public Administration, vol 15. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61612-0_4

Download citation