Scandals and the armed forces

Authored by: Mark Blach-Ørsten , Anker Brink Lund

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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The increased mediatization of society (Hjarvard 2008) goes hand in hand with the increased possibility of exposure and scandalization (Blach-Ørsten 2011). As Thompson (2005) has argued, the rise of a new mediated visibility is a double edged sword for those in power. On the one hand the new visibility may be used to spread and control information, messages, and images, on the other hand the new visibility can be a risk and lead to loss of control, and to the exposure of secrets or information that may end up threatening those in power. As an example Thompson (2005: 31) points to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and writes:

the hidden practices of U.S. military and paramilitary personal [were] suddenly opened up to public scrutiny, unleashing a sequence of further revelations that [was] difficult for those in power to explain and control. Thanks to the media, these previously hidden practices and events had been given an entirely new status as public . . . the invisible had been made visible.

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