Public shaming and humiliation have been used across cultures for centuries to punish offenders and define the boundaries of acceptable behaviour for communities. This article argues that since court-imposed shaming sanctions were phased out in Australia, the news media has assumed responsibility for performing this cultural practice. Through critical engagement with some of the research literature on shaming, the historical shift to the media as the modern pillory is explored. This article looks beyond the doctrine of open justice, which assigns the news media a dual role as a watchdog against injustice and a conduit between the courts and the public, to consider its role in shaming and suggest this role continues to evolve in a changing media landscape.
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