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The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts


Edited By Mikkel Fugl Eskjær, Stig Hjarvard and Mette Mortensen

This book engages with the mediatized dynamics of political, military and cultural conflicts. In today’s global and converging media environment, the interrelationship between media and conflict has been altered and intensified. No longer limited to the realms of journalism and political communication, various forms of new media have allowed other social actors to communicate and act through media networks. Thus, the media not only play an important role by reporting conflicts; they have also become co-constitutive of the ways conflicts develop and spread.
The first part of the book, Transnational Networks, addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by transnational media to actors seeking to engage in and manage conflicts through new media platforms. The second part, Mobilising the Personal: Crossing Public and Private Boundaries, concerns the ways in which media framings of conflicts often revolve around personal aspects of public figures. The third part, Military, War, and Media, engages with a classic theme of media studies – the power relationship between media, state, and military – but in light of the mediatized condition of modern warfare, in which the media have become an integrated part of military strategies.
The book develops new theoretical arguments and a series of empirical studies that are essential reading for students and scholars interested in the complex roles of media in contemporary conflicts.
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Chapter Four: Personalised Scandalisation: Sensationalising Trivial Conflicts?


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Personalised Scandalisation

Sensationalising Trivial Conflicts?


This chapter discusses political scandals in Nordic countries, with a focus on recent scandals concerning norm transgressions related to the personal behaviour of politicians. Three scandals are briefly presented as illustrations, and a fourth is analysed in greater detail. A closer look at this type of scandal reveals that the ‘crime’ in question is often a relatively trivial offence, especially in legal terms. Scandalisation processes are useful weapons in power struggles and conflicts between political actors. Scandals also demonstrate the influence of media organisations and journalists in political conflicts. The news media represent both the public sphere and the marketplace in which scandals are presented and developed as dramas.

This development is discussed against the background of a political-cultural climate characterised by a high degree of visibility and a political environment in which personalities have gained importance. Asp and Bjerling (2014) points to three characteristics of the ongoing change in political communication over the past four decades: the individualisation of society, professionalisation of politics, and institutionalisation of the media (2014, pp. 204–205). Asp and Bjerling focus on Sweden, but the same developments can be seen in all of the Nordic countries. Citizens are exhibiting more individualistic forms of political behaviour, with a growing proportion of voters changing parties between elections.1 There has also been a shift from traditional political parties built on membership to campaign...

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