Financial journalism as watchdog and educator : a case study of Tiso Blackstar’s reporting on the Steinhoff corporate scandal from 1st of January 2016 to the 6th of December 2017

Van Wyk, Annemarie (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the reporting on the Steinhoff corporate scandal in some of South Africa’s premier business publications prior to the company’s collapse in December 2017. From a normative and critical political economy theory perspective, this study examines how financial journalists at Tiso Blackstar reported on the company in the period before its demise. The question that arises from a normative theory perspective is whether the journalists fulfilled their journalistic duty to hold corporate power to account. In addition, from a critical political economy theory perspective, the study examines the power relations between corporations and journalists and the way in which these power relations influenced journalism practice. Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis model is used to study the vocabulary, grammar and textual relations of news discourses for ideological meaning. Another aim is to establish if financial journalism promotes understanding of complex financial issues in this case. The results show that financial journalism was influenced by the market society in which it is situated, with journalists being constrained by time, space and resources. It was also found that a lack of skills, training and too close proximity and dependence on sources within the financial system prevented journalists from identifying and investigating and exposing this particular corporate fraud.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die manier waarop joernaliste by van Suid-Afrika se voorste sake-publikasies verslag gedoen het oor die Steinhoff-maatskappy in die twee jaar voordat die maatskappy in duie gestort het in Desember 2017. Die fokus is op finansiële joernaliste se verslaggewing by die Tiso Blackstar maatskappy oor Steinhoff uit ʼn normatiewe en kritiese politiek-ekonomiese teoretiese perspektief. Die vraag wat ontstaan uit ʼn normatiewe teoretiese oogpunt is of die joernaliste aan hulle joernalistieke plig om korporatiewe mag aan die kaak te stel, voldoen het. Van ʼn kritiese politiek-ekonomiese teoretiese perspektief ondersoek die tesis die magsverhoudinge tussen maatskappye en joernaliste en hoe hierdie magsverhoudinge joernalistiek-praktyk beïnvloed. Deur Norman Fairclough se model van kritiese diskoers-analise te gebruik word die woordgebruik, grammatika en tekstuele strukture van nuus-diskoerse ondersoek vir ideologiese betekenis. Nog ʼn doelwit was om vas te stel of sakejoernaliste komplekse begrippe aan lesers duidelik maak in ʼn poging om finansiële geletterdheid te bevorder. Daar is bevind dat joernaliste ʼn gebrek aan tyd, spasie en ondersteuning ondervind het. Hulle het ook nie genoegsame opleiding en vaardighede gehad nie en was te na aan en te afhanklik van bronne binne-in die finansiële stelsel om korporatiewe bedrog raak te sien, te ondersoek en te ontbloot.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107843
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