Quick Reference

1. Any phenomenon experienced within some framework as an incident of change which has a beginning (and usually an end). From a constructionist perspective, any ‘event’ is a social construction—bounded ‘events’ have no objective existence. Furthermore, the frameworks within which events are defined as such are frequently implicit, masking the subjectivity of such definitions.

2. (narratology) An action or happening reflecting a change of state in narrative discourse: compare episode.

3. (news journalism) An occurrence judged to have newsworthiness as part of a ‘story’ (Galtung and Ruge). For the viewer of television news, such events are contextually framed by the flow of the news programme. See also J-curve.

4. A major happening featured in the mass media (see media events; pseudo-event).

5. For Lyotard, a major cultural turning-point that transforms people's perspectives, examples being the revelations about Auschwitz and the Paris riots of 1968.

6. (philosophy) Any occurrence, change, happening, or episode, regardless of its importance. There is disagreement about whether events can be described in different ways and remain the same events, or whether they are more like facts which are dependent on the concepts framing them. One event may have the effect of causing another.

Subjects: Media Studies.

Reference entries