Bribery of the news media in too many countries robs citizens of credible information they need to make personal and collective decisions. This comprehensive research for the first time gives us an index that ranks 66 of the world’s nations for the likelihood that print journalists will seek or accept cash for news coverage from government officials, businesses, or other news sources.
The index was developed to provide a useful quantitative measure by which countries can track their progress over time and compared to other nations. Whether a country ranks high or low, many parties are adversely affected – journalists, news sources, advertisers, government policy makers, and the consuming public. Public relations professionals and journalists alike – as citizens who best understand the importance of media integrity – need to take leadership roles in eliminating this unethical practice.