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Media Events

Media Events

The Live Broadcasting of History

Daniel Dayan, Elihu Katz

ISBN 9780674559561

Publication date: 03/15/1994

Constituting a new television genre, live broadcasts of “historic” events have become world rituals which, according to Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, have the potential for transforming societies even as they transfix viewers around the globe. Analyzing such public spectacles as the Olympic games, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, John F. Kenndy’s funeral, the moon landing, and Pope John II’s visits to Poland, they offer an ethnography of how media events are scripted, negotiated, performed, celebrated, shamanized, and reviewed.


  • Media Events is a feat of scholarship about a medium that tends to defy scholarship. It is a comprehensive, thoughtful, and original delineation of a phenomenon of live television as a powerful social force. This book marks a milestone in the understanding of how we are affected by television.

    —Daniel Schorr, National Public Radio


  • 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.

Book Details

  • 320 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press