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A term used to refer to the whirlpool effect of the media in relation to a particular major issue or event. In the age of multimedia and rapid electronic and digital communication within a knowledge economy, some such event can dominate the range of media forms and outlets for extended periods. In such circumstances, non-specialists are drawn into the vortextual effect, commenting on and writing about issues on which they have little knowledge and, usually, no informed opinion. Olympic Games and football World Cups, Superbowl and Formula One, are among the sporting events that can generate this vortextual effect. Garry Whannel has developed the concept: ‘The vortextual effect produces a short-term compression of the media agenda in which other topics either disappear or have to be connected to the vortextual event’ (Media Sport Stars: Masculinities and Moralities, 2002).

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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