Media Events

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Harvard University Press, 1994 - Performing Arts - 306 pages
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Constituting a new television genre, live broadcasts of "historic" events have become, in effect, world rituals--high holidays of mass communication. Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz show us that these media events have the potential for transforming societies as they transfix viewers around the globe. The authors apply this original thesis to public spectacles such as the Olympic Games, Anwar el-Sadat's journey to Jerusalem, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, John F. Kennedy's funeral, the moon landing, and Pope John Paul II's visits to Poland. They offer a penetrating ethnography of how media events are scripted, negotiated, performed, celebrated, shamanized, and reviewed. Media events, they show, turn television into an icon, but they also give it real power--to declare holidays, to shape collective memory, to integrate and reorganize societies. The authors separate these events into three categories: contest, conquest, and coronation. Astute borrowings from Max Weber and Emile Durkheim underscore their analysis. Into their anthropological framework Dayan and Katz integrate empirical studies of broadcasting and analysis of the aesthetics of television. They explore the phenomenon of "not being there, " claiming that the living-room celebration of media events is a unique form of ceremonial experience, different from--but as powerful as--the experience of "being there." They look at the element of tension generated by the unpredictable, live unfolding of an event. And they discuss the roles of broadcast narrative, interpretation, and commentary as well as the preplanning of publicity and advertising. This book adds an unexpected dimension to studies of journalism andbroadcasting. Students, scholars, and practitioners in mass communication will find it required reading, and it will spark interest in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and political science as well. Finally, all those who were mesmerized by the Thomas/Hill hearings, the Gulf War covera
 

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media/wedding ENGLISH

Contents

Defining Media Events High Holidays of Mass Communication
1
Scripting Media Events Contest Conquest Coronation
25
Negotiating Media Events
54
Performing Media Events
78
Celebrating Media Events
119
Shamanizing Media Events
147
Reviewing Media Events
188
Five Frames for Assessing the Effects of Media Events
221
Notes
235
References
275
Acknowledgments
295
Index
299
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About the author (1994)

Daniel Dayan is a Fellow of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

Elihu Katz is Trustee Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvannia; Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Scientific Director of the Guttman Institute of Applied Social Research.

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