This article offers a comparative study of three media scandals arising from two types of leaks: official ones (the Monedero Case and the Pujol Case) and those originating from citizens (the Falciani List). Official leaks are carried out by elites and respond to private/partisan interests. Citizens’ leaks come from anonymous individuals who deliver huge databases to the media for journalistic treatment. Our objective is to analyse the coverage received by both types of leaks in the Spanish press. The results show the use of official leaks as a political weapon in Polarized Pluralism media systems. Scandals based on citizens’ leaks, which refer to transnational problems with greater ramifications, receive less attention. We discuss the extent to which the polarization of conventional political communication has increased and the future of new formats of information based on citizens’ digital participation in an emerging Networked Fourth Estate.
European Journal of Communication – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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