Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

“The whole world watching”? How news media create the myth of an audience of billions and foster imagined communities


Fürst, Silke (2020). “The whole world watching”? How news media create the myth of an audience of billions and foster imagined communities. International Journal of Communication, 14:1524-1541.

Abstract

By common understanding, media events attract a “huge audience—the whole world watching” (Katz & Liebes, 2007, p. 158). Despite its conceptual importance, however, there is hardly any research on the size of global audiences. In a critical review of the state of research, this article shows that scholars studying media events obtain their information on audiences of billions primarily from media coverage. This coverage also influences the potential users of media events and stimulates imagined communities. It is therefore important to investigate how and on what basis news media report on global audiences. By means of a qualitative content analysis of the British coverage of Diana Spencer’s funeral, this study reveals that the global response is reported and defined even before a media event takes place and can thus be regarded as a myth. This leads to conceptual considerations on media events and suggestions for future studies.

Abstract

By common understanding, media events attract a “huge audience—the whole world watching” (Katz & Liebes, 2007, p. 158). Despite its conceptual importance, however, there is hardly any research on the size of global audiences. In a critical review of the state of research, this article shows that scholars studying media events obtain their information on audiences of billions primarily from media coverage. This coverage also influences the potential users of media events and stimulates imagined communities. It is therefore important to investigate how and on what basis news media report on global audiences. By means of a qualitative content analysis of the British coverage of Diana Spencer’s funeral, this study reveals that the global response is reported and defined even before a media event takes place and can thus be regarded as a myth. This leads to conceptual considerations on media events and suggestions for future studies.

Statistics

Downloads

3 downloads since deposited on 26 Mar 2020
3 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:media events, journalism, news coverage, audience, ratings, imagined community, history
Language:English
Date:February 2020
Deposited On:26 Mar 2020 10:31
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 14:51
Publisher:University of Southern California
ISSN:1932-8036
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/11036

Download

Gold Open Access

Download PDF  '“The whole world watching”? How news media create the myth of an audience of billions and foster imagined communities'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 209kB
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)