media events

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Exceptional happenings organized with the cooperation of the media by governments, public bodies, or commercial concerns, typically broadcast live across several channels with regular programming suspended to accommodate them. The sociologists Katz and Daniel Dayan (b.1943) identify three forms: firstly, there are ‘conquests’: associated with an authority, charismatic figure, or major achievement such as the moon landings, climbing Everest, or the running of the four-minute mile. Secondly, ‘coronations’; official state events that are celebrations of tradition, such as presidential inaugurations or the crowning, marriages, or funerals of monarchs. And thirdly, ‘contests’: public trials such as the Oliver North hearings or the O. J. Simpson murder trial. See also event; news events; compare pseudo-event.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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