Seminar, Dr. Agnieszka Stepinska
Sport events such as Olympic Games and Football Championships have been already recognized as mediatized rituals as well as the media events. They are symbolic and they create an opportunity to focus both media and national and international audiences' attention on the host(s). Concequently, they may serve social integration functions. Furthermore, since the events are covered by foreign media and broadcast to foreign (international) audiences, they might be considered as an opportunity to build a positive image of the hosting country (or countries). Indeed, in 2012, for both Poland and Ukraine, hosting the UEFA European Football Championship (EURO 2012) seems to be a chance to improve their recognition and attract tourists' and entrepreneurs' attention.
At the same time, sport events create opportunities for scholars to study how the international sport events may affect the country's image. To achieve that goal, one need to use a broader, interdisciplinary perspective. Namely, one should consider the features of an international sport event, such as Olympic games or championship. The most important structure of Olympic ideology is a “trio of individualism, nationalism and internationalism”, as Eric Rothenbuhler (1995: 67) wrote, while the football championships celebrate the achievements of national teams in international competition. Thus, this is a team spirit, nationalism and internationalism that seems to be crucial elements of the ideology of the EURO 2012.
While studying sport media events one may consider such issues as: instruments that can and should be used to create the country's positive image; events or activities that attract the media and international audience's attention; the stumbling blocks, threats and major challenges. Finally, by analysing the media coverage in the hosting countries and in the other countries one may recognize the similarities and differences in attention and perspectives.
The aim of this lecture is to introduce the concept of the media events and discuss the features of the sport media events by analysing some examples of the previous football championships.
- Eric Rothenbuhler (1988) The Living Room Celebration of the Olympic Games, Journal of Communication, vol. 38 (4), 61 – 81.
- Eric Rothenbuhler (1989) Values and Symbols in Orientations to the Olympics, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 6, 138 – 157.