Scandal and news values

Authored by: Brian McNair

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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Scandal is as old, one might reasonably speculate, as human communication itself. Oral cultures nurtured scandals as surely as did early scribal cultures. It seems likely – if hard to prove, for obvious reasons – that gossip and rumour have been part of human interaction and social relations from prehistoric times. But as media technology and systems have evolved into the globalised public sphere of news and journalism we now inhabit, so have the reach and impact of scandal. Scandal is now a prominent feature of global news culture, with some scandals dominating news agendas all around the world for significant periods of time. In this chapter I consider the factors which shape the news value of scandal in both democratic and authoritarian societies.

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