Study Reveals Dark Side of Journalism

Source: The Nation

Thai print media journalists are among the world’s most susceptible to bribes, a global survey revealed yesterday.

In the first study of its kind, the print media of 66 countries were judged in terms of their resistance to taking bribes. Thailand was listed at joint 50th.

The results showed that bribery within the media was most likely to occur in China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The countries whose media were seen as least susceptible to bribery were Finland, Denmark, New Zealand and Switzerland. Germany, Iceland and the United Kingdom tied for fifth place, with the United States ranked joint ninth.

The survey was developed by two academics from American universities: Dr Dean Kruckeberg, a professor from the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Northern Iowa, and Katerina Tsetsura, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at Purdue University in Indiana.

The study was jointly commissioned by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), as part of its Campaign for Media Transparency, and the Institute for Public Relations of the United States.

Because of the virtual impossibility of measuring the phenomenon of cash being paid for news coverage through direct observation, the researchers employed a composite index methodology. Using this, they were able to narrow their focus down to eight variables for which objective third-party data were available.

Each country’s print media – with a focus on newspapers -was then awarded between zero and five points for each variable. The higher the score achieved, the lower the perceived risk of it being susceptible to bribery.

The variables used in the study were:

– Long-time tradition of self-determination by citizens. (Thailand scored 2.)

– Comprehensive corruption laws with effective enforcement. (Thailand scored 0.)

– Accountability of government to citizens at all levels. (Thailand scored 3.)

– High adult literacy. (Thailand scored 5.)

– High liberal and professional education of practising journalists. (Thailand scored 4.)

– Well-established, publicised and enforceable journalism codes of professional ethics. (Thailand scored 2.)

– Free press, free speech and free flow of information. (Thailand scored 4.)

– High media competition (multiple and competing media). (Thailand scored 0.)

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Three news men ‘forced to quit iTV’

Three senior iTV news editors were forced to resign from their posts yesterday, an informed source at the television station said.

Wasan Phaileekleeh, iTV’s news director, and his two deputies, managing editor Samran Rodpetch and assistant news editor Prakasit Khampim, were forced to quit the news team, the source said.

Samran is a well-known political news commentator.

The three were accused of incompetence in their work and being unresponsive to board policies, according to the source.

 

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