Corruption in the print media, specifically in newspapers, greatly alters the news and distorts the facts. This corruption oftentimes comes in the forms of paid articles that portray things that are not really the case, articles that are simply contrary to the facts and are voluntarily written so as to uphold or destroy a certain issue or person, and articles that are mere speculations and have no factual basis. It can also be said that these three forms are entirely related, especially if the news agency merely seeks profit from “speculative” journalism (Gorovitz, p. 41).
Corruption in terms of paid articles implies that there is a benefactor behind, whether a person or a group, who seeks to influence the public perception by showing things that are not really the case. That may come in the form of exaggerating a story of public interest by omitting facts or by including hearsays which is often the case during elections. On the other hand, corruption in the print media can also come in the form of articles that run contrasting stories that seek to either destroy the credibility of a person or an organization or uphold the reputation of another person or organization.
For example, a newspaper might print the story wrecking the reputation of a well-known drug company by fabricating deceptive stories which run contrary to, say, the credit of the company for being an internationally recognized organization for the quality of its products (Davis, p. 380). Lastly, corruption in newspapers may also come in the form of editorials and opinion columns which do not include factual basis for certain claims.
It is a type of journalistic corruption because it does not operate on facts and reason but rather on mere accusations and serving the purpose of creating controversy to increase readership and circulation in the short-run. These three forms of corruption in the print media may also be highly related when newspapers tend to abandon journalistic ethics and resort to media sensationalism. It is perhaps the worst type of corruption in the print media which can adversely affect the public perception.