Keywords: Corruption; Press Coverage; Penal Populism; Political Parallelism; Scandalization
This research analyses the journalistic coverage of corruption between 2004 and 2015. Regarding the relationship between media and corruption, several studies assume that the control exercised by the press could prevent corruptive behaviors. However this is not always the case in Italy. Our data show that the coverage of corruption produced by four Italian newspapers is mainly based on political corruption scandal, reproducing several peculiarity of the so called «penal populism». This means that corruption is represented in a spectacularized and instrumentalized manner, underestimating the real extent of the phenomenon. This is due to the ambivalence between commercialization and political parallelism that characterizes the Italian Media System.