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Global Corporate Governance Forum

Journalists at the Forefront of Corporate Governance Reporting: The Story That Lies Beneath

March 5, 2013


The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) at the National Endowment for Democracy, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the International Center for Journalists held the panel discussion on Journalists at the Forefront of Corporate Governance Reporting: The Story That Lies Beneath. In this interactive discussion the panelists examined the media’s role as a watchdog, discussed what constitutes good practice, and how reporting on corporate governance fits into overall development, democracy, and governance efforts.

Opening remarks were given by Patrick Butler, the vice president of programs for ICFJ. The session was moderated by Philip Armstrong, the head of the IFC’s Corporate Governance Forum. The speakers were:

  • Bethany McLean, contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine since 2008, a columnist at Reuters, and a contributor at CNBC.
  • Andras Petho, a Hungarian journalist, currently based in the United States as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland.
  • John D. Sullivan, the executive director of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


Good journalists can spot a good story even in the most innocuous press release. While the phrase “corporate governance” might not get your attention, what about: fraud, theft, waste, incompetence, nepotism, abuse of power, conflict of interest, or corruption? Uncovering such practices is at the heart of watchdog journalism for business reporters. But not all corporate governance stories are about scandals. As a new media guide (pdf) by International Finances Corporation (IFC) and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) notes, such stories can be about visionaries, brilliant ideas, and about men and women who give the world products and services that can change lives. Whether positive or negative, stories about corporate governance are essential for promoting transparency and accountability in emerging democracies.






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