Media representations of corporate fraud in the noughties: evolution or revolution?

Watterson, David (2010) Media representations of corporate fraud in the noughties: evolution or revolution? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation examines the extent and nature of the reporting of corporate fraud in British newspapers during the decade from 2000 to 2009. A review of 5,245 articles of 200 words or more published in The Times and The Daily Mirror and tagged as highly relevant to ‘Fraud and Financial Crime’ or ‘Corporate Wrongdoing’ identified 639 articles relevant to corporate fraud. This body of documents was subjected to a variety of quantitative and qualitative techniques in order to characterise the reporting of corporate fraud during the decade, to analyse changes in the extent of reporting and to identify emerging themes. Results suggest that the baseline prevalence of the reporting of corporate fraud in The Times increased during the decade, although articles about corporate fraud in The Daily Mirror did not markedly increase. A spate of corporate scandals, primarily originating in the United States of America, contributed to a surge of articles during 2002 and the spectacular scale of the frauds that brought down the empires of Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford resulted in a second peak in 2009. Reflecting the findings of previous studies to have addressed fraud reporting in the media, it was found that most corporate fraud stories in The Times were confined to the business pages and that corporate fraud featured only rarely in The Daily Mirror. Qualitative analysis identified a couple of key themes during the decade: US corporate failures and the failure of regulation to prevent corporate fraud. Certain generally accepted features of ‘newsworthy’ articles were evident in articles published about corporate fraud. The findings are interpreted in the context of existing theories relevant to the representation of crime in the news media and specific theories relating to coverage of fraud are discussed.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16

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