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Integrative disruption: the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners as a live media event

Jiménez-Martínez, César (2016) Integrative disruption: the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners as a live media event. In: Fox, A., (ed.) Global Perspectives on Media Events in Contemporary Society. IGI Publishers, Hershey, USA, pp. 60-77. ISBN 9781466699670

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Identification Number: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9967-0.ch005


Generally speaking, the study of media events as tools of political communication seems to have mainly focused on “integrative” events, such as sports competitions or staged celebrations (e.g. Dayan & Katz, 1992; Rivenburgh, 2010). Lately, there have also been calls to study “disruptive” situations, particularly terrorist acts (e.g. Katz & Liebes, 2007). Limited attention has been paid to the role that natural disasters or other catastrophes may play in this realm (e.g. Cottle, 2011). My chapter attempts to contribute in the latter line, focusing on the rescue of the Chilean miners of October 2010 and which arguably became one of the most relevant media events of recent history. Using Critical Discourse Analysis to examine the narratives constructed during the live coverage by local television station TVN and global broadcaster BBC World News, this chapter argues that, from a theoretical point of view, traditional categories such as “integrative” or “disruptive” appear to be ill equipped to deal with the current complexity of media events. In addition, despite the different accounts constructed by local and global media, media events seem to be much more cohesive and restricted to what has been recently argued by some scholars (e.g. Hepp & Couldry, 2010). Thus, it appears that governments can potentially use catastrophes to build narratives useful to advance different political, economic or cultural purposes. However, in order to reach that cohesion, a series of controversial issues are left out of these narratives, for instance, in this case, the responsibility of the owners of the mine in the accident, the poor security conditions of the excavation site or the fierce control of communications imposed by the government.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 IGI Global
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2015 09:21
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 23:04

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