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Media Corruption: A Chinese Characteristic

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  • Ren Li

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Abstract

Misbehaviour and malpractices of Chinese journalists in recent years have brought media corruption under the spotlight. The lack of professionalism and scarcity of fully established ethics in media organisations have made the case worse. However, while Chinese media and academics concentrate narrowly on paid-for news or gag fee by prompting the enforcement of disciplinary restraints and ‘thought education’, this hot issue has been largely ignored by western scholars and has only been occasionally reported by some western media. Based mainly on prominent cases and document studies, this article classifies three major types of media corruption in the Chinese context: (1) individual red-envelope taking, (2) institutional profit seeking and (3) personal businesses benefiting from the identity of a reporter. It then explores two major endogenous causes of media corruption: media’s unique role in China’s political power structure and their monopoly in information collection and delivery. Two current countermeasures undertaken against this phenomenon in China are finally analysed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ren Li, 2013. "Media Corruption: A Chinese Characteristic," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 297-310, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:116:y:2013:i:2:p:297-310
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1464-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chenting Su & Ronald K. Mitchell & M. Joseph Sirgy, 2007. "Enabling Guanxi Management in China: A Hierarchical Stakeholder Model of Effective Guanxi," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 71(3), pages 301-319, March.
    2. Antonio Argandoña, 2007. "The United Nations Convention Against Corruption and its Impact on International Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 481-496, September.
    3. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 720-736, June.
    4. C. Fred Bergsten & Charles Freeman & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2009. "China's Rise: Challenges and Opportunities," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4341.
    5. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World: Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 559-594, December.
    6. Argandoña, Antonio, 2003. "Private-to-private corruption," IESE Research Papers D/531, IESE Business School.
    7. Manion, Melanie, 1996. "Corruption by Design: Bribery in Chinese Enterprise Licensing," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 167-195, April.
    8. Ruth Aguilera & Abhijeet Vadera, 2008. "The Dark Side of Authority: Antecedents, Mechanisms, and Outcomes of Organizational Corruption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 431-449, February.
    9. Vito Tanzi, 1998. "Corruption Around the World; Causes, Consequences, Scope, and Cures," IMF Working Papers 98/63, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Niki A. Nieuwenboer & Muel Kaptein, 2008. "Spiraling Down into Corruption: A Dynamic Analysis of the Social Identity Processes that Cause Corruption in Organizations to Grow," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(2), pages 133-146, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laureen Albarrán Díaz de León & Jerjes Aguirre Ochoa, 2014. "Analyzing Organized Crime From A Business Perspective: The Case Of Mexican Meth Mafia," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(9), pages 977-990, September.
    2. repec:eee:pacfin:v:49:y:2018:i:c:p:129-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1760-:d:113916 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Shiqun Li & Baosheng Zhang, 2016. "Research of Coalbed Methane Development Well-Type Optimization Method Based on Unit Technical Cost," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-12, August.

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