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Media scandals, rumour and gossip : A study with an ear close to the ground

Hammarlin, Mia-Marie LU (2019) In International Journal of Cultural Studies
Abstract
The abiding interest of researchers in the nature of mediated scandals continues to provoke discussions of what this phenomenon actually is, and how it is best researched empirically. This article argues that despite the claims that a modern scandal is manifested mainly through traditional and digital media, a careful analysis of the lived experience of this phenomenon—using in-depth qualitative interviews with the subjects of scandal¬—demonstrates that to fully understand it, we must take into account other forms of direct human communication, such as gossip and rumours, which flourish among the audiences as a response to the transgressional acts that started the scandal.

The results of this study challenge the idea of ‘mediated... (More)
The abiding interest of researchers in the nature of mediated scandals continues to provoke discussions of what this phenomenon actually is, and how it is best researched empirically. This article argues that despite the claims that a modern scandal is manifested mainly through traditional and digital media, a careful analysis of the lived experience of this phenomenon—using in-depth qualitative interviews with the subjects of scandal¬—demonstrates that to fully understand it, we must take into account other forms of direct human communication, such as gossip and rumours, which flourish among the audiences as a response to the transgressional acts that started the scandal.

The results of this study challenge the idea of ‘mediated scandals’ as a typically modern conjuncture that can be separated from ‘localized scandals’ or ‘classic scandals’. Instead, I consider the mediated scandal to be above all a cultural phenomenon, which audiences use to debate and negotiate transgressional acts and norms. They also reflect the historical staying power of this phenomenon, and the urgent need to analytically transgress the alleged border between the ‘mediated’ dimension of communication with the mouth-to-mouth-dimension, which may very well be one of the most influential news medium in every society. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
media scandal, rumour, gossip, media circuit, oral communication, journalism
in
International Journal of Cultural Studies
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85071631665
ISSN
1367-8779
project
Mediedrevets mekanismer och aktörer (finaniserat av HT-fakulteterna/financed by the Faculties of Humanities and Theology, Lund University
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
aa1c02d0-a932-49fb-9dc7-b8bd8f11958e
date added to LUP
2019-12-09 08:28:10
date last changed
2020-01-13 02:35:00
@article{aa1c02d0-a932-49fb-9dc7-b8bd8f11958e,
  abstract     = {The abiding interest of researchers in the nature of mediated scandals continues to provoke discussions of what this phenomenon actually is, and how it is best researched empirically. This article argues that despite the claims that a modern scandal is manifested mainly through traditional and digital media, a careful analysis of the lived experience of this phenomenon—using in-depth qualitative interviews with the subjects of scandal¬—demonstrates that to fully understand it, we must take into account other forms of direct human communication, such as gossip and rumours, which flourish among the audiences as a response to the transgressional acts that started the scandal.<br/><br/>The results of this study challenge the idea of ‘mediated scandals’ as a typically modern conjuncture that can be separated from ‘localized scandals’ or ‘classic scandals’. Instead, I consider the mediated scandal to be above all a cultural phenomenon, which audiences use to debate and negotiate transgressional acts and norms. They also reflect the historical staying power of this phenomenon, and the urgent need to analytically transgress the alleged border between the ‘mediated’ dimension of communication with the mouth-to-mouth-dimension, which may very well be one of the most influential news medium in every society. },
  author       = {Hammarlin, Mia-Marie},
  issn         = {1367-8779},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {International Journal of Cultural Studies},
  title        = {Media scandals, rumour and gossip : A study with an ear close to the ground},
  year         = {2019},
}