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Staging and engaging with media events: A study of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest

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journal contribution
posted on 18.07.2016, 13:06 by Michael SkeyMichael Skey, Maria Kyriakidou, Patrick McCurdy, Julie Uldam
Recent work on media events has questioned their integrative function, arguing that they operate as sites of symbolic struggle between different interest groups. However, relatively few studies have examined the experiences of those who design, organize, and attend such events. This article addresses this lacuna with reference to the biggest nonsporting live TV event in the world, the Eurovision Song Contest. Drawing on data from the 2014 competition in Copenhagen, Denmark, it examines the varying levels of commitment to the event among organizers, fans, broadcasters, and journalists and, in particular, notes how this shaped responses to a controversial incident involving the Russian entry. While those with an ongoing interest, including organizers and fans, tended to emphasize personal narratives and individual freedom of expression, mainstream media and audiences adopted a far more cynical standpoint, privileging geopolitical issues to make the event seem more relevant and compelling.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

International Journal of Communication


SKEY, M. al., Staging and engaging with media events: A study of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. International Journal of Communication, 10, pp. 3381–3399.


© The Authors. Published by the University of Southern California


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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by IJOC under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Unported Licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: