News, Truth, and the Problem of Corporate Crime:
Criminal blame was never assigned.
Media, examined between 1992 and 2002, along with the changing news articles.
When it comes to deviance and crime, newspapers over-represent the poor and
those most vulnerable to labeling by authorities. They also underrepresent the
misconduct of the powerful.
Business crime articles are found in the business section, not front page.
Use the terms accidents, mistakes and tragedies to talk about business crime.
Literal denial involves arranging damaging information into inaccurate or innocuous
forms of story telling.
Interpretive denial involves admitting the raw facts butt involves recontextualizing
events and excusing them as normal, justified, or necessary.
Passive denial involves claiming that no problem really exists.
The most prominent discourse in the overall news coverage was that of a legal
disaster. Reports used technical language to highlight the legal logic of the inquiry,
thereby suppressing the violent effects of the explosion and distancing the
corporation from the causes and sociolegal consequences of the event.
The next most predominant discourse was that of a human tragedy.
Coverage drowned voices of workers, magnifies the voices of politicians and
experts, and drew attention to inanimate natural forces, rather than human
organizational decisions as causing loss of life.
Any attribution of blame and responsibility was absent most of the time in news
Journalists valued legal experts as the primary definers of truth.
What was said and by whom about the Westray disaster changed over time.
The press downplayed the evidence showing it was the company to blame, and
created a story about an “accidental tragedy.”