4 August 2013

UK News media "among most corrupt in the world"

Transparency.org's 2013 interactive Global Corruption Barometer lists only 4 countries (out of 107) where the media are perceived to be among the most corrupt institutions: Egypt, Australia, New Zealand - and the UK.

Less surprisingly, political parties in about half of the 107 countries are also perceived to be corrupt. And that includes the UK.

Here, it's getting worse. When I first looked at Tranparency's surveys in 2008, the UK's overall perceived-corruption score had dropped from 8.4 the year before, to 7.7 (10 represented squeaky clean). The scoring is slightly different now - out of 100 - but for 2012 the British figure is 74, which I assume translates to 7.4 under the old system (the US scores 73).

Admittedly, these surveys are about the perception of corruption, and news-fed democracies may perhaps tend to be more cynical nations. But perceptions matter, and this decline in public trust, also shown in dwindling electoral turnouts, threatens the legitimacy and stability of our system of government.

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