Journal Article

"Shaming the Devil! Performative Shame in Investigative Tv-journalism



This paper considers the performativity of shaming in investigative TV-journalism. It argues that the construction of shame is not only a constituent element in investigative TV-journalism but also an important factor in pursuing some of its main objectives: establishing morals, exercising social control, reinforcing journalistic identity and ideology, and competing for attention in a diversified media theatre where drama, entertainment and emotional thrills are the hard currency. An empirical study of the Swedish TV programme Uppdrag granskning, is used to inductively propose three categories of shaming and to give some examples of the ways in which shaming is performed. The core of the paper is a theory driven analysis in which the performativity of shaming in investigative TV-journalism is analysed in the light of some converging media and societal trends.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Nordicom Review, Issue 34.
  • Pages:
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Author

Magnus Danielson

Born 1961, lives in Stockholm, Sweden. PhD in Journalism. Master's degree in History and Bachelor's degree in Media and Communication Studies. Read more


Danielson, M. (2013). "Shaming the Devil! Performative Shame in Investigative Tv-journalism. Nordicom Review, (34), pp. 61-73. Available at: [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].