Informations and abstract
Keywords: Scandals; Corruption; Trial; Media; Public Opinion.
The Italian Political System has been marked by several important corruption scandals. Especially when prominent figure are alleged, scandals fill newspapers pages for several days, increasing the attention of the public opinion among the topic. However, the media’s interest in such cases is not constant over time. Within a few weeks, the attention to the event ebbs away and all the wiretappings, scoops and declarations are forgotten. Through this study we propose an analysis of the so-called newspapers «attention cycle», namely an analysis of the amount of article that the main Italian newspapers devote to a sample of Italian corruption cases. We will try to highlight how over time the journalistic coverage of a scandal is articulated, in order to understand how they arise, which are the elements of greater newsworthiness and above all if they provide a complete account of the various phases of the event. Our main hypothesis is that journalistic news reporting represent a limited and incomplete storytelling of the event, which focuses on the mechanisms of revelation and the initial phase of the scandal, but offers little coverage of the actual sentences of legal trials or of any consequences of the event. Our data will demonstrate that Italian newspapers produce a «parallel trial», that instead of being carried out in a courtroom, it is carried out on the pages of a newspaper.