Media extortion is relatively common in China’s mining industry, which is rife with illegal practices, but elsewhere press corruption is more subtle.
Reporters at news conferences are routinely offered envelopes of cash, ostensibly to cover travel costs but with the unspoken assumption they will write what the sponsor wishes to see.
Businesses also buy advertising to ensure positive coverage, often at the behest of reporters who are required by their employers to meet revenue quotas. Commissions on such contracts can more than double a reporter’s pay, which is often as low as $150 a month. [Full text]