A comparative research on the print press coverage of corruption

In this study, we only deal with the possible tangible ways through which news media may curb corruption. We study, in a comparative perspective, what sorts of representations of corruption emerge from the print press coverage. We analyse what the main components of these representations are, what the mostly frequently quoted topics and actors are and how they relate to the surrounding social and political contexts. It should be noted that ours is a study on news media representations and not on the factual level of corruption in the investigated countries, even if, as we shall see later on, there is a relevant association between the amount and the type of news media coverage and the perception of corruption as measured by Transparency International and as suggested in other studies (Mungiu Pippidi, 2015). There is no doubt, indeed, that a larger coverage of corruption may determine a higher level of perception of corruption. However, once more, this is not a factual level of corruption. Our data on news media representations also seem to confirm more general discussions and interpretations on the level of corruption in each country, which are stressed in many studies and reports, including the ANTICORRP deliverables.

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