An analysis of the prominence of corporate governance in South African media for the period 1990-2012

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 12
  • Abstract:

    Sound corporate governance is a key driver for sustainable business performance, particularly for companies in developing countries. Since the media fulfils an important function in developing discourse regarding the role of business in society, we investigate the role that the South African print media has played to place corporate governance on the public agenda, and report on the level to which the term corporate governance and related topics appeared in the South African print media from 1990 to 2012. Based on agenda setting theory, we present a descriptive statistical analysis of the frequency (first level agenda setting) as well as the tonality (second level agenda setting) of corporate governance in selected South African print media over the 22-year period. Our findings suggest that while corporate governance has gained prominence in the media over the period of analysis, media reporting on this and related issues have a predominantly negative balanced tonality. We conclude that the print media is not yet sufficiently setting the agenda and breaching the public’s awareness threshold to substantially foster ethical corporate behaviour. Recommendations for further research are discussed.