Political Scandals as a Democratic Challenge| “Assassination Campaigns”: Corruption Scandals and News Media Instrumentalization

Paolo Mancini


This article offers a different view of media scandals than the one that is prevalent in the West. In many countries (and partially also in the West), corruption scandals respond mainly to a logic of instrumentalization: They come to light and occupy the front pages of newspapers and privileged slots on television news because they are occasions and tools to attack political and business competitors following the logic of what John Thompson calls the “politics of trust.” With findings from a series of studies on media corruption, the article explores how instrumentalization drives the coverage of corruption cases in new and transitional democracies.


news media scandal, instrumentalization, politics of trust

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