By Grant Samkin

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The cost of legal opinions is borne by the newspaper. In light of the advice from lawyers, some articles have gone through minor revisions[9]. A frequently used strategy has been to quote from authoritative sources, such as court judgements, indictments, regulatory reports, press releases by government departments and other hard sources to argue that companies and accounting firms have behaved irresponsibly[10]. Even then on some occasions threats of lawsuits from lawyers acting for some economic elites mentioned in some articles have been received.

In this arena there is a potential to submit competing worldviews to a “reasoned” public for reflection and thus mobilise pressures for change (Habermas, 1996). However, due to antagonisms emanating from class, age, gender, ethnicity, income, wealth, professional, business and ideological arenas, the public sphere is also a site for social conflict. Rather than encouraging citizens to reflect upon their presuppositions, newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations can manipulate and curtail public discussions.

The remainder of the paper consists of four further sections. The first section argues that due to the ownership and control of accountancy magazines, they rarely facilitate critical scrutiny of accountancy practices and the industry. The second section argues that national newspapers and magazines offer a greater scope to connect with wider audiences, but this space is also structured and simultaneously constrains and enables particular kinds of interventions. The third section briefly refers to some personal experiences to argue that interventions can lead to some unexpected outcomes and alliances.

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