Scandals, Media, and Citizenship in Contemporary Argentina
Waisbord, Silvio R.
This article examines several scandals in 1990s Argentina to discuss the linkages between scandals, media, and citizenship. Suggesting that media publicity is central for scandals to unfold, the article examines a particular arms scandal. An institutional approach that considers the role of different political actors in different scandals shows how and why the media and other institutions contributed to the making and unmaking of scandals. Although scandals offer opportunities for “doing politics by other means,” not all actors are similarly involved. Scandals that dealt with official corruption mainly featured political elites, whereas scandals that followed revelations about human rights violations showed a different pattern: public outrage and citizens’mobilization. In a political context of “scandal fatigue,” scandals do not necessarily trigger public action or moral crusades. Only those scandals that directly affected groups of citizens and were not simply causes d’état were followed by public demonstrations and intense audience attention.Show more [+] Less [-]