Media rate low in corporate responsibility

There are only 5 media organisations in the top 109 companies rated by their corporate responsibility.  The index is compiled by Business in the Community (BITC), a charity aimed at promoting responsible business.

The five are, in order of merit:

  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation;
  • The BBC;
  • BSykB
  • Pearson; and
  • Reed Eslevier.

None in the top 10

None are in the top group which includes 4 utilities, 3 retailers,  2 accountants and consultants, and BT.

With the existential crisis at News International we would not expect it to be on the list.  But other media organisations could be.  The criteria are hardly onerous.

Easy criteria

What you need, says the BITC note, is a strong set of positive values which are embedded in the company.  These can include:

  • Treating employees fairly, equitably and with respect;
  • Operating ethically and with integrity;
  • Observing key standards of human rights, and keeping within the law;
  • Protecting the environment for future generations; and
  • Being a responsible neighbour in the community.

Tacit values

Media operations can and often do achieve these and other values.  I’ve always been struck at the media companies where I’ve worked how strong the internal values can be.  But they are mostly tacit, rather than explicit.  It seems it is time for media organisations to make their values clear internally and externally.

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