Please feel free to make your thoughts on this known in the comments section. I got this question from a TV news program a few days ago in the wake of the media exposing Indian MP Suresh Kalmadi's corruption with regard to his handling of funding for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi.
At first, I thought the answer was obvious: in the US, the media's investigative journalism led to the resignation of a sitting president, so of course it should! But now, I have my doubts.
I believe that even if the US justice system isn't perfect and can have its low moments, if a public figure is exposed as corrupt, that person's career is effectively finished forever due to the combination of the [strength of the] rule of law and the ensuing public disgrace. In India, on the other hand, corruption is pervasive in all levels of public office — from the common cops to the members of parliament. Media exposure won't really get to the root of the problem — it will just lead to corrupt politician after corrupt politician and resignation after resignation. To fight corruption, top-down approach won't work because the people lower down the hierarchy will still support corrupt practices, while a bottom-up approach won't work because the higher-ups' behavior will encourage corrupt practices to continue.
I remember reading in The Undercover Economist that as bad as sweatshops in developing countries are, they are one of the ways for such a country to become richer and develop homegrown businesses, as that is what happened in South Korea and is what is happening in China. Does anyone know of a similar story regarding corruption — a country that experienced some kind of change that drastically reduced the prevalence of corruption? Please do tell me in the comments — I would love to know!