This article is concerned with how corruption is socially constructed in the French press media, both from a problem definition and a rhetorical perspective. Based on a corpus of 307 articles published between 2005 and 2015, this article uses frame analysis to identify the most common interpretive frames. Based on the findings, it is argued that corruption is generally presented through an episodic framing, as a problem of individual misconduct and deviance, and that the rhetorical tools used to emphasize the topic’s newsworthiness tends to present corruption through a scandal frame and frequently generalize the problem to the entire social group. The mediatisation of corruption contributes to putting the issue on the agenda, however the way the issue is framed, focussing on individual behaviour, tends to depoliticize the issue and to limit societal attributions of responsibility, and thus suggests little policy implications or opportunities for change.
Ethique publique. février 2017, vol 18, n° 2.