Date of this Version
The visit of Egypt's President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem was the model for Dayan and Katz's conceptualization of the genre of media events, as live programs which have the power to transform history. Fifteen years later, a series of televised reconciliation ceremonies, which marked the stages of the peace process between Israel and its Arab neighbors (the Palestinians and the Jordanians), are used to re-examine the model. We demonstrate (1) how the effectiveness of these ceremonies depends on the type of contract among the three participants-leaders, broadcasters and public-each of whom displays different kinds of reservations, and (2) how the aura of the ceremonies draws on the prior status of the participants (Hussein), but also confers status (Arafat).
Date Posted: 19 April 2011