Use reports to pinpoint important issues

Reports such as the CFA disclosure study can be gold mines for journalists who want to do regular stories on corporate governance. Research papers, surveys and blogs also pinpoint potential conflicts or poor practices in corporations, but often are ignored even by beat reporters who are covering the companies. Corporations are reviewed and rated on discipline, transparency, independence, accountability, responsibility and fairness.

In reporting on the CFA disclosure study, for example, journalists could examine disclosures by the top companies they cover and detail whether they comply with recommended best practices. Comparisons may also be made with other companies in the region or in the industry.

Annual surveys and scorecards by region are also useful to journalists searching for stories. The CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, an independent brokerage and investment group, with the Asian Corporate Governance Association, publishes a yearly survey of corporate governance in Asia that covers 580 Asia-listed companies in 11 countries.

For a summary of the results of the 2010 survey, see: http://bit.ly/IESikf