Social media enter the stadium : a case study on the political economy of media at the 2010 Winter Olympics
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SubjectSocial media; Publicity; Mass media; Mass media and publicity; Critical discourse analysis; Intertextuality; Economics; Olympic Winter Games (21st : 2010 : Vancouver, B.C.); Vancouver (B.C.); Whistler (B.C.); Case studies (Research methodology)
Just prior to the opening of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, a 21-year-old Georgian luger died after his sled left the Whistler Sliding Centre track travelling at 140 kilometres an hour. The following paper uses Critical Discourse Analysis and the Bahktinian notion of intertextuality to examine how Canadian media discursively constructed social media users and their sharing of the images, video, and opinions following the tragedy. The results show traditional media discursively constructed social media as outsiders, separate from the audience, and further argued they need to follow traditional media norms in order to be responsible citizens. In considering this discursive construction within the political economy of traditional media, it is suggested that one tactic employed is the creation of flak, which attempts to discredit what it opposes. Traditional media discourse, sometimes itself the target of flak, here uses flak against social media which are impinging on the political economy of the traditional media. Keywords: audience, critical discourse, flak, intertextuality, Olympics, political economy, social media, traditional media
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