Uncertainty surrounds the use of publicity as a means of controlling corporate crime. On the one hand, some agree with Justice Brandeis's dictum that light is "the best of disinfectants...the most efficient policeman." On the other hand, many believe that corporations' internal affairs are effectively shrouded with a thick fog that prevents the light of public scrutiny from reaching them. The Impact of Publicity on Corporate Offenders is the first study to go beyond the rhetoric, through an examination of corporate experience. Fisse and Braithwaite have carried out a qualitative inquiry concerning 17 large corporations involved in publicity crises. Based mainly on interviews, the inquiry includes company employees and former employees, union officials, officers of government regulatory agencies, competitors, independent accountants, government prosecutors, public interest activists, judicial officers, stockbrokers, and other experts.
Brent Fisse is an internationally known specialist in criminal justice associated with the University of Adelaide Law School, Adelaide, Australia. John Braithwaite is on the faculty of the Australian Institute of Criminology.