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.
Media Corruption: A Chinesee Characteristic – article by Ren Li in Journal of Business Ethics