Essay on the Olympics part 2
Furthermore, the Olympics are probably the most highlighted event by mass media. What is meant here is the fact that the mass media coverage of the Olympics starts long before the Olympics actually start. For instance, the information about the Olympics can be traced in news reports and other messages conveyed by the media, when the city, where the Olympics will take place is selected. Such media coverage prepares the public to the upcoming Olympics.
As the Olympics’ hometown is identified, the preparation for the Olympics begins that also involves the media coverage at all levels since this is the global event. For instance, the Olympic flame is the symbol of the Olympics and it is also used as the source of promotion of the Olympics attracting mass media. To put it more precisely, the Olympic flame is traditionally lit in Greece and then the Olympic flame travels throughout countries and continents to reach the target destination, where the next Olympics will take place (Bagdikian, 2000). Mass media cover the travel of the Olympic flame that attracts people to the Olympics and contribute to the formation of the identity of sportspersons and spectators, who are going to watch or attend the Olympics. As people learn about the travel of the Olympic flame, they grow interested in the Olympics. They may be willing to share their impressions with others via social networks that makes them involved into social networks and virtual communities of people just like them interested in the Games. Also, people may just try to get more information about the Olympics as they learn about the travel of the Olympic flame. They start searching internet, communicating with other users, looking for other sources of information, collect the information about the Olympics and, thus, they eventually become a part of the Olympics community developing their identity.
The opening show of the Olympics becomes the major attraction to raise the attention of the public to the Games. The opening show is an important element that contributes to the formation of the community and identity of individuals involved in the Olympics. To put it more precisely, the audience as well as participants of the show see the uniqueness of the event and they feel that they comprise a part of the show and they witness a sort of the historic event. The feeling of the exclusiveness of the Olympics and its significance evokes strong emotions contributing to the development of the identity based on the strong feeling of belongingness to the Olympic community.
The grandiosity of the event stimulates the mass media coverage. As a rule, the opening show and all events of the Olympics are covered by mass media in details. The broadcasting of the main events, such as the opening show, attracts the huge audience which may reach billions of people, who watch broadcast translations of the event. The media coverage of the opening show unites billions of people, who grow aware of the grandiosity of the event and their belongingness to the event.
Furthermore, sport competitions are also covered by mass media that also contributes to the formation of the Olympic community and rise of identities of individuals involved in the Olympics either as participants or as spectators (Chomsky, 1997). Mass media attract the interests of the audience to the events increasing the responsibility of sportspersons for their performance and make them feel being the best representatives of their nations. They may feel the rise of the pride and responsibility for their performance. In such a situation, spectators also feel their responsibility and they do their best to support their sportspersons as if they can help them to win. Spectators and supporters unite in different groups supporting specific sportspersons or specific teams. At the same time, they all belong to the Olympic, international community and people develop their imagined identities, Olympic identities but such identities are shaped by mass media. In fact, sport events take place on the regular basis all the year round and Olympics offer the same sport events which people can see regularly. However, it is the mass media attention to those events and the mass coverage of those events that changes the identity of individuals because such profound attention to sport events, which otherwise would be perceived as routine, makes people change their identity making them feel being a part of the Olympic community.
The closing of the Olympics is also the great attraction but, in contrast to the opening show and sport events covered by mass media, the closing, final show completes the existence of the Olympic community and basically brings the imagined identity to the end. People feel that the imagined community, where they lived in during the Olympics, is about to disappear as soon as the final show ends. In this regard, the mass media coverage of the final show is similar to the coverage of the opening event of the Olympics.
Thus, the Olympics are the major sport event that attracts billions of people, who watch the Games as the audience and who participate as sportspersons. The Olympics contribute to the formation of the unique community uniting different people at all levels. In this regard, mass media, especially internet, play an important part in the formation of the identity of individuals comprising the Olympic community. From the moment the Olympic flame is lit to the last minute of the final show of the Olympics, the Games attract mass media which cover sport events and contribute to the formation of the identity of Olympic community members.
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