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The Impact of the Olympics: Barbara J. Walkosz

March 27, 2009
Barbara J. Walkosz
Barbara. Walkosz teaches communication studies at the University of Colorado, Denver. Her research and teaching focus on the role of mass media in society, political and civil discourse, and health communication. She has also been examining how China is represented in leading American media outlets and in the emergence of new media in Asia. She co-authored the study “Definition, equivocation, accumulation, and anticipation: America media’s ideological reading of China’s Olympic Games,” which was published in Owning the Olympics:  Narratives of the New China (2008).



This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Click on the play button above to view Barbara Walkosz’s presentation on the Beijing Olympics.

The 2008 Olympic Games provided an extraordinary opportunity for China to display its culture, ideology, and values to a global audience. The media coverage of the Olympics is the primary means by which these cultural displays were disseminated. As a result, the media had the potential to affect perceptions of China by the larger global community including whether China achieved its objectives of impressing the world and positioning itself as a legitimate member of the global community. The media frames used to represent the Olympics will be discussed in the context of four ideological spaces: definition, equivocation, accumulation, and anticipation. Each of these spaces allows the media to set up a tension between two options concerning a major exigence, something that the media identify as “waiting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be.” Prof. Walkosz explicates these spaces and discusses how each reassures media consumers.