Media events have robbed the society the sense of occasion. Gone are the days when people used to dress up to attend events. Nowadays at the comfort of their home, they can watch the events in their large and small screens; the television sets (Rothenbuhler and Coman 2005, p. 8). A media event can only be described by highlighting its characteristics. The unique characteristic of media events is that they are before our eyes as they are happening. The innovation and inventions in the field of sound and picture capturing devices have revolutionized the success of the live coverage of media events (Rothenbuhler and Coman 2005, p. 12). The technology has replaced the traditional role of the viewer who had to travel to the venue of the occasion and placed it on the cameras and microphones.
The media do not initiate the media events (Cammaerts and Carpentier 2007, p. 30). Independent parties organize the events to the media such as individuals, companies, political leaders, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions. These media events, therefore, can still take place in the absence of the cameras and microphones from the media companies. The media acts as the medium of transmission of the happenings of the events to the absentees, outside or within the locality of the venue. The media events success, which has been boosted by the advancement of the technology, has been on the rise due to its dynamics. The technology offers support to a wider coverage of the events in the specific locality.
Moreover, the world of business has majorly affected the location of individual time towards attending events. Therefore, most individuals have resolved to attend most events at the comfort of their workplace via the television channels. Due to these developments, the media houses have been forced to act as an intermediary between the busy people and their availability. Research has also predicted attendance towards national and private events is likely going to reduce in the coming years due to decreased availability of people. These have therefore pushed media houses to ensure they offer the best regarding covering the events (Cammaerts and Carpentier 2007, p. 56).
The ability of the media to transmit live coverage of these events has been made possible by determined characters in the field. These characters in the realization of important truths about the success of the media events, which is attracting a large viewership from the public, has piled pressure on most events to embrace live coverage (Dyreson and Mangan 2013, p. 66). Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz are among the individuals that have helped in shaping the progress of the media events. The two explored the increasing importance of genre television and the highly coordinated and carefully produced coverage of live happenings. They two note that through the coverage of live events such as royal weddings, state funerals, sports extravaganzas, and shuttle diplomacy, their television has gathered its massive audience. Moreover, Dayan and Katz argue that the media events may help shift public perceptions and shape the political, social, and economic responses. This paper shall, therefore, focus on the how Dayan and Katz account for the contribution of media events to the relation between the social and the symbolic.
Dayan and Katz argue that media events play a crucial role in promoting integration in the society. The live television events have the capability of fostering unity given the large audience it attracts. It is estimated that more than 500million people through can attend the events at the same time, at the moment of its emission. The large attendance at events is mainly made possible by the ability of the media houses to do live coverage and transmission (Dyreson and Mangan 2013, p. 77). Dayan and Katz through their findings after analyzing several events, they note the media controls a large crowd by airing the events in its channel.
Historically power has always been associated with the multitudes. In a democratic society, the majority always have their way over the minority. As a result, the media in covering national events it can set a reconciliation agenda in the process of the live coverage (Howley 2010, p. 33). The media can create a symbol of unity, which in turn affects the harmony of the people living in a society. The media can create short messages that carry out integration catalysts in it. These catalysts as the events proceed they may be partially running with the atmosphere of the moment, hence hammering the message of unity among the viewers. The media given the role it plays in communicating to the people it able to initiate togetherness in the society through the available and affordable channels.
In the old days, the individuals anticipated attending a memorable event (Howley 2010, p. 55). The anticipation came with the expectation to witness the reality of the happenings in an event. However, according to Dayan and Katz the reality is uprooted by the media event. They argue that if an event originates from a particular location, it is automatically converted into a studio. Given that the media events are a function of the cameras and microphones movement, the events mostly ends up covering the reality on the ground. The media will pot emphasis in covering the main activities and eventually deny the viewers a chance to view the other activities. Mainly because the media is hindered by the limited time and the pressure exerted on it by the viewers who are expectant.
Moreover, the state of the locality of the venue is totally transfigured and, therefore, fails to bring out its originality. Given that the media can profile and shrink a certain locality to a controllable studio space, the details of the locality remain exaggerated (Panagopoulos 2007, p.88). For instance when a nation is given the privileged to host the annual Olympic Games, the focus shifts to the fields. The viewers at a different location, as a result, are not able to see the real colors of the town. The reality on the ground is overcrowded by the activities taking place at the destined location, which is converted into a studio by the media.
The power of the media to cover events on large extent determines the response of the public. Dayan and Katz note that the media while covering a commemorative function reminds the viewer what need to be remembered. Therefore, the media talks the role of interpretation of the events that may be of importance to the society. This ability of the media to speak and dictate the response of its viewers, therefore, affects either positively or negatively the perception of the public toward the arising matters such as governance, security, and other matter of societal interest (Panagopoulos 2007 p. 99).
The media plays a role in expressing the heroic action of great men in the society. The media events while covering the success of heroes in the society also go a step further to highlight charisma and their collective actions. This kind of coverage may sometimes lead to defiance of the established authority. The heroes most often when in the light of wider audience their dissatisfaction with official inaction and bureaucratic ritualism may be ignited to come out (Panagopoulos 2007, p. 101). The media in this context may end up shaping the next breed of leaders since the majority of the viewers might be moved to inclined towards their beliefs as a result of their personal success.
The media events also sometimes result in the inequality of the distribution of power in the society. The media according to Dayan and Katz, it tends to incline on covering events that sound appealing to both rich and poor in the society. The media so as to remain relevant to the two groups of people finds itself in favor of those fairing well in the society. The media may as result in covering royal weddings, state funerals, homecomings, and anniversaries of the mighty in the society. The media in doing this it keeps raising the disparity between the poor and the rich, hence enlarging the imbalance (Rothenbuhler and Coman 2005, p. 45).
The constant covering of activities among the rich families largely pushes them to continue rising in power, business at all costs. In additional, the appraisal granted to these royal families ends up in the mind of the disadvantaged who become hooked in their success. As a result, the royal families finds it easy to get elevation in leadership due to the popularity accorded to them by the media events.
The media events have the ability to evoke a renewal of loyalty to the society. Individualism among people has been on the rise in the 21st century. The traditional family set-ups such as neighborhood benefits in many societies have fairly dropped. The tough economic situations have barely left space for generosity in the modern society. The same way may citizen have sometimes fallen into the trap of being disloyal towards their society, and country (Rothenbuhler and Coman 2005, p. 89). Some citizens have ended up becoming traitors toward their countries in the hope of receiving benefits from enemies. However, the media events according to Dayan and Katz have been instrumental in renewing the level of loyalty among people in the society. The media having a wider mass following, it can disseminate the correct information concerning loyalty towards one's nation. The coverage of national celebration to mark the day a nation attained its independence is a great platform to foster the national loyalty among the people in the society.
In conclusion, the observation by Dayan and Katz of the role of the media events in the relation to the social and the symbolic is clearly highlighted above. The role of media events in within the society ranges from the political, economic, and social situations. The two bring out the strengths of the media events in shaping important tools in the society. These tools include the political leaderships, public response (Cammaerts and Carpentier 2007, p. 66). The Aftermath of the media events as indicated above is majorly controlled by the perception send to the viewers. However, Dayan and Katz still note that the media events being the powerful tool it also has its shortcomings and disadvantages. The media events may result in the disparity between the rich and the poor. Moreover, the media events may also end up elevating the royal families at the expense of the other families, hence increasing the social imbalance.
Cammaerts, B. and Carpentier, N. (2007). Reclaiming the media. Bristol, UK: Intellect Books.
Dyreson, M. and Mangan, J. (2013). Sport and American Society. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Howley, K. (2010). Understanding community media. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Panagopoulos, C. (2007). Rewiring politics. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
Rothenbuhler, E., and Coman, M. (2005). Media anthropology. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.
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