Live television production of media events in China : The case of the Beijing Olympic Games

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 12 - Chapter in an edited book (Author)

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Chinese Media
EditorsGary D. Rawnsley, Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley
PublisherRoutledge
Pages389-402
ISBN (Electronic)9781315758350, 9781317635925
ISBN (Print)9780415520775
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Abstract

The countdown to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, widely seen as China’s ‘coming-out party’, started almost as soon as the city won the Olympic bid in 2001. An important component of this countdown was the media planning within China Central Television (CCTV), which is the state broadcaster and the Olympic TV rights holder in mainland China. The coverage would eventually amount to approximately 3,000 hours of programming across nine TV channels. Drawing from literature on media events and cultural production, this chapter engages with an under-studied topic in media events scholarship: the relationship between plans and improvisation at different stages of live broadcasting of a mega-event. Related to this, the chapter looks at the perception of ‘uncertainty’ in live television production as well as the strategies developed by media agents to cope with it. Regarding the component of ‘improvisation,’ in particular, the chapter revisits the concept of ‘what-a-story’ (Berkowitz 1992: 82–94) in news reporting and uses as a case study sprinter Liu Xiang’s unexpected withdrawal from racing in the Olympic Games, as an example to illustrate the dialectic relationship between plan and improvisation.

Citation Format(s)

Live television production of media events in China: The case of the Beijing Olympic Games. / Liang, Limin.
Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media. ed. / Gary D. Rawnsley; Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley. Routledge, 2015. p. 389-402.

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 12 - Chapter in an edited book (Author)