Full Text

Scandalization in the News

Karen Sanders


Scandalization in the news refers to the apparent tendency for news content to focus on material exposing the foibles and misdemeanors of fellow citizens, especially the rich, famous, and powerful. Scandals themselves have an ancient pedigree. The original Greek terms, the noun “skandalon” and the verb “skandalizein,” refer to a spring-trap for prey, recalling the Indo-Germanic root “skand,” meaning to spring or leap. “Scandal” was used in a figurative way in the Christian Bible to describe a trap, an obstacle, or a cause of moral stumbling. Communication scholars have focused on understanding the relationship between scandal and the media. They have developed explanations related to the transformations wrought partly by changes in communication technology, including the development of a highly competitive news market and new forms of visibility and “publicness” in the contemporary world, creating opportunities as well as risks for public figures (→  Public Opinion ). They have linked these explanations to those derived from social theory, explored most thoroughly in John Thompson's work (2000) . Communication researchers have examined a number of factors contributing to the focus of news media on scandal and particularly political scandals, namely, news economy, culture, and ideology. Scholars also have debated the reasons for the prevalence in the late twentieth century of political ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top