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Posted on April 23, 2012 by


“How Egypt’s uprising is helping redefine the idea of a media event”

This report has assisted me in capturing the idea of a ‘media event’. Through the works of media acadmeics Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz it is argued that a media event is when ‘certain events depart from news events, and instead become ceremonial occuurances that are treated with reverence by broadcasters’. This is further strengthen by the argument that the Arab Springs led to one of the greatest ‘media events’.

When taking into consideration what encapsulates the notion of a “media event”, the main characteristic that I believe arises is the idea of it being global. The ability to transcend geographical borders and dispersed populations at one time and place signifies the phenomena that is a “media event”. While it also enables the unification of people, it has also been strengthened  by the convergence of media- viewing a media event via online platforms (Youtube, twitter, facebook) and broadcast/satellite television.

The momentous occasion that was the Arab Springs is just one of the many examples that have been presented in by Usher. Essentially he argues that there is an altering view of people enacting on the basis of social media protests against a government and enlightens us with the view of how these “media events” are ultimately constructed as an arguable form of propaganda i.e. a persuasive and emotive piece via You Tube or featured on the news to  embrace and support democracy and ultimately the U.S.

He highlights this in the statement;

“The story is the perfect American story. There is a clear evil-doer. There’s a clear person you want to remove from power. The images are provocative and as engaging as anything you’ve seen in recent history. There’s a whole mythology of it with a despotic dictator.” – Usher, 2011

The reality of what is occurring however is displayed in these clips despite the motives. Whether these pieces are being portrayed to the audience for a political means, there is still an element of truth in that it is captured at the time and place and broadcasted globally. Thus its authenticity cannot be disputed.


Usher, N 2011. How Egypt’s uprising is helping redefine the idea of a “media event”, accessed 16th April 2012, <;

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