Talk scandals

The power of mediated talk

Authored by: Mats Ekström , Bengt Johansson

The routledge companion to media and scandal

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815387596
eBook ISBN: 9781351173001
Adobe ISBN:


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Political reputation and power have become increasingly dependent on mediated visibility. They can be used to gain and withhold political power, but this undoubtedly represents a double-edged sword. Political scandals are perhaps the most significant example of how visibility can damage reputation and symbolic power, and a ceaseless stream of disclosures of norm transgressions and public outrage related to politicians’ actions seems to exist. The mediated political scandal is not only about disclosure, but also dramatization, storytelling, and attraction. It fits perfectly into a news and media culture in which the offering of what is sensational, shocking, and abnormal constitutes a fundamental strategy to attract and fascinate presumptive audiences.

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