This paper discusses the intensified role of the media in shaming ‘ordinary' people when they commit minor offences. We argue that shaming is a powerful cultural practice assumed by the news media in western societies after it was all but phased out as a formal punishment imposed by the judiciary during the early nineteenth century. While shaming is no longer a physically brutal practice, we reconceptualize the idea of a ‘lasting mark of shame' at the hands of the media in the digital age. We argue that this form of shaming should be considered through a lens of media power to highlight its symbolic and disciplinary dimensions. We also discuss the role new and traditional media forms play in shaming alongside formal punishments imposed by the judiciary. While ‘ordinary' people armed with digital tools increase the degree of disciplinary surveillance in wider social space, traditional news media continue to play a particularly powerful role in shaming because of their symbolic power to contextualize information generated in social and new media circles and their privileged position to other fields of power.
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