Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

2003

Conference Name

American Political Science Association

Abstract

As globalization gathers momentum at the beginning of the 21st century, global communication is increasingly important. Part of this process is global news, which has emerged as a separate genre made possible by the development of new communication technology. Media elites have used the ability to communicate from anywhere to anywhere in real time to create a new global space, which has become a domain for global political action. In this space, media elites mix political content with entertainment values in news reality television, the global political theater of the real. Capturing images from the vast ocean of daily human activity, they create breaking news. They help construct dramatic political characters like Osama bin Laden. They weave past and present experience together in gripping ongoing stories like terrorism that give meaning to current events and prefigure the future.As the media construct characters and stories, they help create the content and context of contemporary world politics. Building bin Laden as a player and getting ready for the spectacle of 9/11, the news media are at work, using professional production values to transform local people and real time events into powerful global political actors and concrete action sequences, trying to make public sense of a crazy, frightening world.

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