Disasters as Media Events: The Rescue of the Chilean Miners in National and Global Television

César Jiménez-Martínez


Focusing on the rescue of the Chilean miners, this article problematizes some current perspectives on media events, particularly in relation to disasters. An analysis of the narratives constructed during the live broadcast of the rescue by the Chilean government, and a national and a global television station, suggests that media events theories should go beyond the categories of “integrative” and “disruptive”. Additionally, it appears that the apparent polyphony of media events introduced by global media organizations is not a guarantee of alternative voices. Finally, this story is a powerful reminder that disasters can be used for political purposes, overlooking in this case the responsibility of the company owning the mine and the communicative controls imposed by the authorities.



media events, disasters, television, BBC, TVN, Chilean miners

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