Criticizing corruption from every corner is a stupid idea
Every day, law enforcement agencies delight us with yet more detentions of military medical commission doctors, military officers, small officials, etc
Corruption criticism of the Ukrainian government is coming from all corners. These issues are recorded in important Western documents, these issues are raised at regular meetings between foreigners and the government, these issues are raised by civic activists and investigative journalists. What are the authorities doing? That's right - they are focusing on PR in the anti-corruption fight.
Every day, law enforcement agencies delight us with some detentions of military medical commission doctors, military officers, small officials, etc. Each news item receives maximum publicity. It would seem that the authorities are doing a good job, and finally they are really tackling corruption.
“I can guess who the "brilliant author" of this stupid idea is, but the effect of this PR is exactly the opposite. All this publicity that someone has been caught on something only confirms the "terrible" corruption in the country both for the outside world and inside.”
In global practice, the fight against corruption is not at the highest echelons of power - they try to keep it quiet. The news about a doctor in the Zhytomyr region being arrested for bribery at a military medical commission is of no value to the national information space. However, ten similar reports in a few days give the impression of total widespread corruption. So, these endless small reports not only do not improve the situation, but make it worse by creating the impression of total corruption. Instead, the fight against top corrupt officials should be actively publicized. But there is not much to brag about.
In the information dimension, other tools should be used to create a perception of decreased corruption:
1. It is essential to shift focus away from minor domestic corruption, which is prevalent in all countries and should not dominate national news.
2. There should be an enhanced emphasis on the investigation and reporting of high-level corrupt officials. Not only how they are caught, but also by regularly informing about the progress of the case.
3. PR efforts should highlight concrete accomplishments. While the public may be aware of instances like the scandal of the Ministry of Defense procurements of food for the military, there is less discussion about the cost savings achieved through various tenders. Therefore, a monthly summary and public presentation of these significant anti-corruption achievements can effectively communicate progress in the fight against corruption.
4. Establish a collaborative approach with foreign partners, businesses, and the public sector, encouraging them to issue positive statements when the authorities take the right actions, enact appropriate laws, and implement necessary changes. While it's important to address wrongdoing. Because everyone is quick to point out the wrongdoings, but nobody pays attention to good initiatives.
You must admit that, for example, every 3 months, statements by business associations that tenders are becoming more competitive give the impression that corruption is decreasing. And to a much greater extent than the daily detention of military officers or doctors.
About the author. Viktor Andrusiv, political and public figure, analyst and publicist.
The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.