A scandal arises from a transgression of values and/or legal norms, which is visible or made public and causes outrage at least in a part of the public. John B. Thompson noted that in modern societies, localized scandals will become mediated scandals if there is news reporting on the allegations: Journalists expand the scandal, and media logic influences the strategies of the accusers and persons who caused the scandal. This entry discusses the nature of mediated scandals and the different ways that scandals occur.

Mediated scandals arouse high interest as they satisfy the needs of recipients. According to the uses and gratifications approach, scandals fulfill individual needs such as information and control of the environment (e.g., in political scandals), personal identity (scandals help to strengthen one’s ...

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