Technology For Representing Media Events By Media Industry Means
Being one of the oldest ones, media industry for decades forms the information picture of the day, broadcasts and replicates views and ideas of the society at a certain period of its development, presents socially significant information as a dynamically modeled system of linguistic and textual unity that serves the spiritual needs of the modern society. Man lives in a world of events and participates in them. Knowing and understanding the essential properties of an event gives a person experience and the ability to make sense of the world. The article focuses on the technology of representing the Olympic Games sporting event in media industry texts. The regional British press on-line archive was used as the material to foreground groups of nuclear and peripheral participants of the two stages of the 1908 Olympic Games media event: the “Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games” and the “Sports Competitions of the Olympic Games”. The semantic analysis of the lexical units representing the participants in each group served to clarify some general and specific features in the methods of participants’ verbalization in the studied stages of the analyzed media event.
Keywords: Media eventsmedia industry meansmodern societysocietal valuesspiritual needstechnology
Media are an integral part of people’s lives and the main way of introducing them to the events of the world. Therefore, one of the main functions of the modern media industry is attracting the attention of the reader / viewer / listener precisely to those events that are important, first of all, for society. Any media event is a product of the media industry, which involves sociocultural, political, economic, linguistic technologies of creating a particular media phenomenon.
The key challenge in studying a media text within the framework of the cognitive and discursive approach is the need to reflect the world and its possible polyvariant image that is represented and constructed, recognizing the boundaries of media discourse and media text (Dem'yankov & Kubryakova, 2007; Ermolenkina, 2010). As a product of the cognitive activity of an individual, a represent-able fragment of reality is submitted, taking into account the value attitudes and ideological orientations of potential recipients.
This paper studies the technology for representing sports event participants by means of the media industry. Technology is viewed as a set of methods and processes to achieve the desired result. From the point of the cognitive and discursive view, a news event is created in accordance with the universal model of the event concept and includes a set of mandatory components: participants in the event, their actions or condition, and temporary, locative, causative or other circumstances of the event (Belyaevskaya, 2015; Ilyinova & Volkova, 2015; Mel'nikova, 2015).
The media text about the events is built around a certain main figure, which affects the choice of events that are worthy of mention and are of interest for the public, as well as on the appropriate presentation of events oriented toward the target reader. The presentation of events and the interpretation of messages about them are based on the cultural traditions of readers and authors of messages.
Purpose of the Study
The structure of the "Olympic Games" media event can be viewed as three separate main events: "Opening ceremony of the Olympic Games", "Sports Competitions of the Olympic Games" and "Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games". These three events are not isolated entities, but rather represent a single whole and are interrelated with one another through the components of the cognitive and ontological model (agents of the event, their roles and actions, etc.). However, the role, frequency and means of representing the participants may differ significantly during different stages of the same event. This study proposes to conduct a comparative analysis of the characteristics of the participants’ representation in the two stages of the 1908 Olympic Games media event: the “Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games” (OCOG) and the “Sports Competitions of the Olympic Games” (SCOG). The corpus of texts obtained by the method of continuous sampling from the English print media, placed in the electronic archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/), and relating to 1908, served as the material.
The media event known as the "Olympic Games" (OG) is a complex phenomenon that has a certain specificity of verbal representation in the media over different historical periods. The study of the characteristics of the representation of media events using methods of historical discourse (Brinton, 2001; Ilyinova & Kochetova, 2016; Jucker & Taavitsainen, 2000; Köhnen, 2008) makes it possible to reveal the historical and cultural features of the news discourse and to describe the dynamics of its development.
The participants of the "Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games" in 1908 have been the object of research that resulted in identifying four groups of participants in this stage of the Olympics. Based on the degree of their involvement in the event and the frequency of their mention in media texts, the identified groups can be cataloged as follows: officials (96; 55.5%), athletes (60; 34.7%), spectators (12; 6.9%), performing artists (5; 2.9%) (Sorokoletova, 2016).
Categorical and semantic analysis of the «Sports Competitions of the Olympic Games» indicates a change in the groups of participants that can be represented from “nuclear” to “peripheral” as follows: athletes (68.5%), officials (14.4%), spectators (9.6%), organizers (4.9%), judges /referees (2.6%). In addition, the results led to the conclusion that the specifics and methods of their representation in the media changed, shifting the focus from some participants to others.
The group designated "sportsmen/athletes" takes a dominant position in the representation of the "SCOG" in 1908 and constitutes the core of the cognitive model of this media event.
It is worth mentioning that in presenting the "Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games" in 1908, journalists paid significant attention to the description of the athletes (34.7% of all nominations). As a rule, collective lexemes (аthletes, contingent, competitors, teams, representatives), which can be accompanied by an indication of the nationality of the participants, were characteristic of the descriptions of the athletes. These descriptions are, as a rule, neutral. Exceptions to this are cases in which journalists aim to draw readers' attention to the teams, the appearance or behavior of which stands out from the other teams. In the material studied there are also designations indicating that athletes are identified with a particular sport, e.g. swordsmen, swimmers, cyclists, hammer-throwers. All these means demonstrate the tendency to compartmentalize the participants into groups.
When representing the stage “Sports Competitions of the Olympic Games” of 1908, there is a displacement of the vector to the representation of a specific athlete, using the method of personal identification, which is accomplished by a wide range of single lexemes and complex nominative word combinations. The dominant model is a proper name, the use of which is possible when the subject of the event is well known to the readers, or when he or she has repeatedly been the subject of discussion on the pages of this publication:
All of us, I suppose, expected that Wilson would pull it off, and give us locally some of the glory of a championship; but the American Shepherd proved just a trifle too fast for him at the finish.
A proper name may be clarified with additional information that is in pre- or post-position to the word being defined. Such information helps the reader identify the athlete:
As expected, Daniels, the famous American sprint swimmer, and De Halmay, the tying Hungarian, won the 100 metres semi-finals, consequently, for once in a way.
These include Sergt. Padgett of Hull, who was the reported winner of the King's Prize last year, but lost it in a sensational manner.
The most exciting event of the day was the final heat of the 100 meters race, which fell to the nineteen-year-old South African, R. E. Walker, in 10 4-5sec., time which equals the Olympic record.
Such models, as a rule, are found at the beginning of a newspaper report; further, the author uses only a proper name or a personal pronoun to identify a participant.
Substantive adjectives are characteristic, as a rule, in two cases. First, in the representation of team sports, and second, in the representation of sports competitions, in which more than one representative from the country participated.
The two Americans led and ran together from the start.
In such functions, the names of the countries participating in the competitive part of the Olympics also appear:
Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America won their respective heats of the three miles inter-team race, and will meet in the final.
England beat Ireland by eight goals to one.
The name of a competitor may be accompanied by evaluative lexemes that implicitly have an emotional impact on the reader. This trend contributes not only to the appeal of the described media event but also to the promotion of individual participants:
Among the young giants who are to take part in the Marathon race from Windsor to the Stadium on Friday will be the famous long-distance runner, Longboat, the Red Indian champion, from Canada, and with him, Simpson, the sturdy athlete, also hailing from the land of the maple leaf – the symbol of strength.
The surprise of the day come in the doubles, in which the South African pair, Gauntlett and Kitson, defeated the more fancied German couple, Schomburgh and Froitzheim.
“Officials” as a group have a dominant position in the representation of stage "Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games" of 1908 (55.5% of all involved). Within this group the ruling monarch, his or her family members (King, His Majesty, Queen), representatives of the British and other royal houses are frequently mentioned, and a specific nominative model is used for their representation: “title / status + anthroponym" (Queen Alexandra, Princess Victoria) or “title + country name” (the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden). A significant number of specific references are devoted to representatives of the Olympic Committee, whose representatives characteristically are indicated with the nominative model “title + anthroponym + position + name of organization / association / committee”, In other words, a status nomination and individualization of the participant is designated: (Viscount Selby and Lord Blyth (and Vice-chairman of the Committee of the Exhibition), Lord Desborough (President of the British Olympic Games). Collective lexemes are also typically used for the representation of this group of participants (notabilities, occupants, royalty, visitors, persons).
When representing the stage of the “Sports Competitions of the Olympic Games” in 1908, journalists shifted the focus onto athletes, but the monarch and his entourage remained the core of this group. When representing a sporting event, reporters are guided by the presence of the king or/and queen, attracting attention to the most popular sports from the point of view of the royal family, and thus their members:
A general topic of conversation at the Stadium was the Marathon race, which to the majority seems to be the blue ribbon of the meeting. It is known that His Majesty the King is deeply interested in this particular event, and he has given permission for the general public to assemble within Windsor Castle gates to witness the start, and for the school children of Windsor to view it from the Castle walls.
During the afternoon the Duke of Connaught and Crown Prince of Sweden were again present, whilst the Queen and suite paid another visit to the sports.
At this stage, the attention to official foreign guests is significantly reduced by increasing the frequency of mentioning foreign athletes. There is also a decrease in the acknowledgements of representatives of the Olympic Committee. Journalists pay attention to representatives, including foreign ones, of sports committees or associations, which represent various sports:
The competitors represent the societies affiliated to the Amateur Gymnastic Association of Great Britain.
Next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the competitions of the fourth Olympiad will take place at the Bisley ranges, under the direction of the National Rifle Association.
The depiction of officials, especially functionaries, at the stage of SCOG is also associated with criticism of the organization of some sporting events: the high cost of tickets (as one of the reasons for the low attendance of competitions), the non-elimination of the consequences of a weather cataclysm, etc.:
Thanks to her Majesty’s inspiration the Olympic Games presentation day was the most successful of the whole fortnight, but the Queen’s action in seeing that justice was done to the “rival Marathon heroes” does not mitigate the blazing indiscretions of the subordinate Olympic officials one iota.
After all the mismanagement of the Games which had gone before it was, perhaps, inevitable that the greatest event of all should have its merely dramatic finale transformed into one of tragi-comedy by the stage managers.
What with the soaking and persistent rain and that deplorable mismanagement and miscalculation on the part of the organizers of which more will be heard later on, the attendance at the Stadium has been ludicrously out of proportion to the number of seats, which have not at anytime been occupied the extent of one-tenth. The Games have been unadvertised, and the seats are overpriced.
“Spectators” as a group are presented in the description of the stage OCOG of 1908, which also finds its realization in the presentation of the stage SCOG in 1908; however the percentage of representations (as a rule, the collective lexemes people, crowd, persons, crowd, visitors, etc.) increases (6.9% vs 9.6%).
The means of representing the “spectators” when describing sports competitions of the OG in 1908 are of special interest. In most examples, journalists use two interdependent concepts in parallel - the audience and the weather, which are a kind of indicator that implicitly testifies to success or failure (including commercial) of the Olympic competition:
Rain again sadly interfered with the sport, and undoubtedly kept many thousands of people away.
Yesterday, however, the bright sunshine of midday resulted in an appreciable improvement in the number of spectators and a consequent rise in the spirits of competitors and officials. There were fully 20.000 people present, and the sport was so good and genuine that the Games received a much needed advertisement.
This is also facilitated by the use of numbers for the representation of the “spectators” as an obligatory participant at the stage of SCOG:
Yesterday the nine or ten thousand made the vast arena comparatively empty.
There was another delightful day at the Stadium yesterday, and in the afternoon about 40,000 spectators were present.
In some cases, collective lexemes representing this group may be defined by adjectives denoting the nationality of the audience, or evaluative adjectives describing the number of participants in this group:
So elated were some American spectators at the victory of Sheppard that they carried him shoulder high round the track.
The immense crowd which gathered at the Stadium yesterday to witness the finish of the Marathon Race, which is fully described on another page, were provided with a lot of interesting and exciting sport during their wait.
When representing SCOG of 1908, the number of groups of participants expands at the expense of the group “organizers”, which includes people directly responsible for the technical and organizational side of the competition, medical care, safety, etc. This group is represented only by collective lexemes (officials, managers, organizers, medical men / staff, policemen, military, stewards, and etc.):
They are at once to retire from the contest if ordered to do so by any member of the medical staff appointed by the British Olympic Council to patrol the course. If you’ve been in the hospital for medical care, you’ve been.
The official medical men were on the spot in a twinkling.
Three thousand policemen will line the route from Windsor Willesden, their chief duty being to stop entirely vehicular traffic. An application has also been made the War Office, so that the district lying between Wormwood Scrubbs and Shepherd's Bush should be guarded by the military.
The “Judges” as a group were not mentioned in the representation of OCOG of 1908, but they are mentioned in the representation of SCOG of 1908. Journalists use the lexemes judge, referee when describing this group of participants without providing any additional information about them:
The 3.500 metres walk was a repetition, so far as the first two men were concerned, of the two miles championship, E.J.Webt being again second to G.E.Larner, whilst A.T.Yeoumans, the Welsh walker, was once more ruled out by the judges.
Bacon, the winner, took a wrong hurdle, but returned to his proper course, and as it was obvious that he had gained no advantage from his mistake the judges did not interfere with the result.
Dole’s triumph, by the way, was far from being popular, his tactics once calling for a warning from the referee.
The “Performers” (musicians, actors), which are secondary for OCOG 1908, are not acknowledged in the media when representing SCOG 1908.
The cognitive and discursive reconstruction of the two stages of the medical event “Olympic Games 1908” based on the corpus of English-language texts of news reports from the archives of the British press made it possible to model the technology of representing a media event by identifying both the general and actually variable features of the main component of the event being studied, its participants, OCOG 1908 and SCOG 1908. The technology includes a number of methods of representing participants at different stages of OCOG 1908 and SCOG 1908.
The stage OCOG in 1908 is characterized by a maximum percentage of representations of the “officials” group and the high frequency of references to the monarch, the head of state hosting the Olympics, which is associated with the protocol for holding official events. Members of royal families and other officials are also in the center of media attention during OCOG in 1908. At the SCOG in 1908, this group of participants is on the periphery of the cognitive model, which results in a decrease in press attention to official delegations and representatives of the Olympic Committee. The main representatives of this group are the current monarch and his or her spouse, as well as representatives of sports associations.
“Athletes” constitute the core of the cognitive model of participants in the representation of the stage of SCOG in 1908. There is a tendency to use anthroponyms when naming athletes; that is, there is a vector shift towards the representation of a particular personality along with their individualization. A proper name can be specified by additional information that is in pre- or post-position to the word being defined, which also contributes to the identification of the athlete. Substantive adjectives and country names of participants are characteristic for the presentation of team sports. Representation of a participant in a competition is characterized by evaluative lexemes that contribute to the appeal of the event being described and have an emotional impact on the reader. Collective lexemes dominate in the representation of the participants of the “athletes” group of the OCOG in 1908 stage; individualization of athletes is not typical for this stage.
The group “Spectators” is characteristic of the representation of both stages of the OG in 1908. Collective lexemes (people, crowd, persons, crowd, visitors, etc.) are typical for both OCOG and SCOG stages. When describing sports events, journalists more often turn to the image of the audience, focusing the attention of readers on their number.
A specific feature of the studied stages is the presence of the group identified as “Performers” for OCOG in 1908 and the groups identified as “organizers” and “Judges” for SCOG in 1908. These groups are on the periphery of the participants' models and, as a rule, are denoted by neutral collective lexemes, representing the specifics of each of the described stages of the media event «OG» in 1908.
The technology of representing media events by identifying both general and actually variable features of the main component of the event modeled in the paper can be used to further study the features of media representation of events in a news text and methods of attracting viewers / readers by means of the modern media industry.
- Belyaevskaya, E. G. (2015). Media discourse: cognitive models used to interpret events (based on british and american quality press). Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 3, 5–13.
- Brinton, L. J. (2001). Historical discourse analysis. In The Handbook of Discourse. Analysised D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen et al. (pp. 138–160). Oxford: Blackwell.
- Dem'yankov, V. Z., & Kubryakova, E. S. (2007). To the problem of mental representations. Issues of Cognitive Linguistics, 4, 8–16.
- Ermolenkina, L. I. (2010). Informational event as a representation of the picture of the world of radio discourse. Tomsk State University Bulletin, 3(11), 15-25.
- Ilyinova, E. Yu., & Kochetova, L. A. (2016). Diachronic perspectives in text and discourse studies: review of approaches. Bulletin of Volgograd State University, 4, 17–24. https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2016.4.2
- Ilyinova, E. Yu., & Volkova, O. S. (2015). Focal Points on Constructing News Stories. Bulletin of Volgograd State University, 4(28), 96–102. https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2015.4.11
- Jucker, A. H., & Taavitsainen, I. (2000). Diachronic speech act analysis: Insults from flyting to flaming. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 1(1), 67–95.
- Köhnen, T. (2008). Historical text linguistics: Investigating language change in texts and genres. English Historical Linguistics, 2, 166–187.
- Mel'nikova, E. A. (2015). On specifying media representation of reality in the genre of news story. Bulletin of Volgograd State University, 4(28), 103–107. https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2015.4.12
- Sorokoletova, N. Yu. (2016). Specificity of the representation of participants in the event in a media discourse (diachronic aspect). Scientific dialogue, 10(58), 99–112.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
About this article
Cite this paper as:
Click here to view the available options for cite this article.