Television, technology and creativity in the production of a sports mega event

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

12 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-488
Journal / PublicationMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


Using a social constructionist and structurational approach to technologies, the article looks at how designers (TV engineers) and users (TV content makers) interacted with each other in developing the "network production and broadcasting system" adopted by the Chinese broadcaster in covering the Beijing Olympics. Perceiving new technologies as resources fostered close cooperation between the two groups during the development stage and helped unleash the creative potential of the technology. In doing so, media agents elevated a technically elegant exercise to one that enhanced creativity in television making. Conversely, under a competing technology frame that prioritized safe broadcasting (during the live broadcasting of the Games), media makers exhibited caution and failed to tap into the full affordance of the technology. The article extends the discussion of "double articulation of technology" from a media reception context to a media production context. It shows how technology development and use within a broadcaster is a negotiation amongst relevant groups and between competing goals, namely, technological efficiency, creativity in TV making and safe broadcasting. © The Author(s) 2013.

Research Area(s)

  • China Central Television, design and use, diffusion of innovation, Live broadcasting, Olympic Games, organizational change, social construction of technology, structuration theory