Perspectives on
Media Research

Title chapter: Rethinking media events as a TV format: A study of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest
Author: Michael Skey
Keywords: media events, TV formats, Eurovision Song Contest, television Producers, Denmark
Abstract: The literature on media events has grown dramatically in recent decades. More recent studies have looked to move beyond functionalist readings, noting the complexity of media environments and social settings and foregrounding relations of power. Notwithstanding their key contribution, these critical approaches present a rather one-dimensional vision of social change and, at times, risk losing their connection with Dayan & Katz's original formulation. We argue that events that are anticipated and involve external organizations in their design demand a specific set of analytical tools. In particular, we suggest that focusing on the production side and, in particular, conceptualizing such events as a specific type of TV format enables us to achieve two objectives. First, to move beyond textual analyses to focus on the struggles that take place inside the media events between different interest groups (organisers, producers, participants, fans). Second, to sharpen our thinking around the place and significance of media events in the contemporary era. We illustrate our arguments by drawing on ethnographic material from the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Copenhagen.
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Media and
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