Media events are happenings or occasions, whether planned or spontaneous, that attract vast coverage by the mass media, and mainly television and newspapers both in internet and print editions. The main events of the media mainly include contests such as the FIFA World Cup, Presidential debates, and senate hearings; conquest such as Apollo 11’s landing on the moon on 20th July, 1969 and the astonishing Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977; and coronation such as Prince Charles’ wedding on July 21, 1981; the coronation of Elizabeth on 2nd June 1953; Funeral of Princess Diana of Wales on 6th September 1997 and Prince Williams’ wedding on 29th April 2011 (Kang 2011).
Basically, media events can be divided into three sub-branches, conquest, contest, and coronation, which make up the story forms that characterize the major narrative possibilities in the genre. These sub-branches determine role distribution in each kind of event and the various channels that they will be enacted. This has a direct implication that the three types of power which include charisma, rationality and tradition are written in conquest, contest and coronation respectively (Dayan & Katz 1992). Certain events do not however match any of the three authoritative scenarios, whereas others seem to change in the midstream, as though they were conceived in terms of competing scripts. All media events including even those that show adherence to a given script contain elements of other scripts which appear in the background or are given secondary status.
The three basic scripts first aroused the interest of the media after Sadat’s amazing visit to Jerusalem in 1977 and the first journey to the moon. These two events attracted the media’s attention for analysis as the two events were being compared. Some similarities were highlighted during the arrival and departure of the two ceremonies, which represented remarkable pressure of risking life and reputation in using biblical quotations, in triumph moments and in pictures and epic prose provided in the TV to go along with progress in real-time (Dayan & Katz 1992). This formula is known as conquest, broadcasting the extraordinary achievements of mankind. They are very rare events both n happening and effective. Contests, as the other script event include events such as presidential events, Olympics and senate hearings; they are the politics and sports domain and are rule-governed conflicts of champions. They normally attract hundreds of millions of audience. The stakes are always very high though sometimes the contests might be defined as real or at other times as play. Coronations on the other end of the spectrum are parades, for example, funerals. They are normally all ceremony unlike contests and conquests which include strong ceremonial ingredients. This genre is usually spiced with royal events. They range from the coronation of Elizabeth II to the colorful wedding of Prince Charles (Dayan & Katz 1992).
Functions of the Media Events
Television events have various roles but the greatest among them is bringing people together. The events are composed of three major partners: the main organizers of a particular event who connect its elements and suggest its historicity; the broadcasters whose function is to re-produce the event through recombination of its elements; and the spectators, both at home and on the spot, who take the event to heart. Each of the three partners has a certain role to play and must make a significant investment in not only time but also other resources to make the event successful (Dayan & Katz 1992). Sometimes organizers and principals might show some differences among themselves regarding the scripting. Broadcasters and organizers may also differ, and audience preferences may also differ. These differences are normally sorted and solved backstage, though sometimes they might persist and even erupt during the event.
During media events, people from all corners of the earth meet in one stadium to freely mingle irrespective of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliations and economic background (Roche 2000). This forms an optimum opportunity to discuss some of the prickly issues that are affecting the individuals from their home countries. In the process, answers to contemporary challenges may be provided and sometimes the discussions may lead to innovations. Among other areas that might be discussed is the ways of improving the communication sector. This actually takes the very first position following the fact that after meeting, sociable humans are fond of making friends and so they look for ways in which they can keep in touch despite separated geographically.
The most amazing and captivating fact about media events, and particularly World Cup, are their capacity to capture the attention of the entire world. The only two events that might claim to have attracted much of the global attention are the September 11attacks in the U.S and the arrival of the millennium. World Cup has proved to have power to capture the entire planet from the very first day till the end (Robertson & Giulianotti 2009), and the nations whose teams emerge victors are admired by the rest of the world and receive special recognition
Though there is no much research conducted on the number of emails, Instant Message, SMS text messages, electronic chats and bulletin board posts, it is obvious that there are billions of such that are being sent during World Cup as these are the most forms of communication around the globe (Kang, 2011). The communication channels are not only through television viewing but also though internet. It is clear that this event leads to unites many people around the world as compatriots whether being rivals or mutual supporters. The event also becomes an excellent channel on making suggestions to both the governments and the Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) on the areas that require more improvements.
Prior to the era of the television, radios and generally the modern technology, the spectator had no involvement in events. Broadcasting has however modified public events, politically and rhetorically, by adding power to the voice of the commentator who is normally independent of the organizer despite the fact that he or she is an approved agent. Conquests, contests and coronations all define new role for the viewer: they all invite the audience to cease being just mere spectators to become judges, or give their views, concerning a particular event (Dayan & Katz 1992). During Olympics or world cup for instance, spectators at home are requested to send messages of approval to their favorite teams. Such messages are sometimes analyzed in the interactive session on the television.