Scandal and Military Mediatization

Publication Date: 
May 2014
Media, War & Conflict (Sage Journals)

Publisher Link>


Mediated responses to reports of abuse during the Global War on Terror are puzzling. Few of the many revelations of abuse prompted concerted reactions (e.g. scandals), and those that did were often very similar to reports that were ignored. This article draws from empirical research into responses to prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib to develop new concepts that help untangle the mediatization of American wars.Feedback helps to model the variety of polemical interventions that are adopted in public discussions as a result of a scandal. The concept of feedforward, introduced here, enables us to model polemical interventions that develop within an organization in response to such feedback. Together, these concepts encourage greater sensitivity to the cultural horizon of mediated events. Further, they point to a new theoretical focus for mediatization research, namely the cycles of feedback and feedforward that help shape new forms of understanding and behaving within organizations.