23 May 2022

New article by Anne Jerslev: Contemporary ceremonial media events – time and temporalities of liveness

The article is published in the new issue of Nordic Journal of Media Studies (NJMS) on media events in the age of global, digital media, edited by Kirsten Frandsen (ÅU), Anne Jerslev (KU) and Mette Mortensen (KU). The article discusses the ways live is performed in and by the media and argues for the enduring importance of broadcast media and television for the creation of media events that gather and enthrall large audiences, even in a time of global digital network communication. Three ceremonial media events are analyzed, each exemplifying a different temporality of liveness: The Danish queen’s New Year’s speech 2020 addressed the viewers directly, and viewers thus co-constituted a temporality of presence. Mette Frederiksen’s Covid-19 speech of 11 March 2020 invoked a temporality of urgency by pledging action of the Danes for the sake of the future. In the third example, the inauguration of Joe Biden on 20 January 2021, social media users harvested a couple of photos from the inauguration, memified them, deconstructed the ceremonial event’s temporality of futurity, and created a different temporality of compressed immediacy. Thus, the analysis unfolds the diversity and changeability of temporalities of liveness and emphasizes that contemporary ceremonial events may be local or global, small, or large, but still reach a substantial portion of a population.

The issue and the article are open access.