Media and Corruption

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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INTRODUCTION Information is a powerful tool in the hands of society. It can have a tremendous impact on public psyche and the public institutions. Information allows people to scrutinize activity and is the basis for proper, informed debate on that activity. In this context, the contribution made by journalists is clear: by providing the public with timely and accurate information on the affairs of government, business and special interests, the media can shape the climate of democratic debate and help the establishment and maintenance of good governance. That the media must be able to access public information in order to play this role is today widely appreciated. Freedom of the press, including free access to information, is fundamental to open, democratic society. This view has found its way into international legal norms and, in numerous countries, the media's rights are upheld and guaranteed in freedom of information legislation. But the fact of the matter is that journalists and media organisations all over the world continue to face obstacles in their responsibilities.

Obstruction is reflected in the presence of active censorship or restrictive regulations on journalistic work, limited or blocked access to official information, a legal landscape that inhibits the ability of journalists to inquire and report freely . In addition, the lack of training, poor professional standards and a dearth of investment into investigative reporting make it difficult and sometimes impossible for journalists to access, impart or disseminate accurate Information. A difficult relationship between journalism and political power is a hallmark of democratic society. To that extent, a tendency to manipulate news and shape the agenda of public debate exists in all societies. In countries where democratic culture is not well established, restrictions on media tend to be more apparent . Where the affairs of government or powerful interest groups...