The digital pillory: media shaming of 'ordinary' people for minor crimes

Hess, Kristy and Waller, Lisa 2014, The digital pillory: media shaming of 'ordinary' people for minor crimes, Continuum: journal of media & cultural studies, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 101-111.

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Title The digital pillory: media shaming of 'ordinary' people for minor crimes
Author(s) Hess, Kristy
Waller, Lisa
Journal name Continuum: journal of media & cultural studies
Volume number 28
Issue number 1
Start page 101
End page 111
Total pages 11
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1030-4312
1469-3666
Keyword(s) Journalism and the law
Court reporting
Summary 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.
Language eng
Field of Research 190301 Journalism Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30059720

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Created: Wed, 22 Jan 2014, 09:45:25 EST by Lisa Waller

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