South African newspaper reports on corruption: A rhetorical analysis of the role of the media in moral formation
The premise of this study is that of a reformed theological perspective which holds that all human beings are corrupt. It sets out to explore whether newspaper reporting, using rhetorical strategies which build awareness in the public about corruption, will solve the said issue of corruption. The study reports on the rhetorical strategies of four weekly South African newspapers, the Sunday Times, The Sunday Independent, Mail and Guardian and Rapport. Four cases of corruption in the calendar year 2016 were selected and the four newspapers' reporting were analysed. This was undertaken by means of four case studies on the said articles from these publications. The study found that the four selected newspapers employ various rhetorical strategies in their reporting on the four cases of corruption. Through their reporting they establish an awareness, and allow their respective readers to judge on issues of corruption. However, the study also shows that corruption is more than its manifestation through the conduct of certain individuals. Based on the abovementioned theological premise, it will take more than just the newspapers' reporting to solve the issue of corruption.