Media Anthropology represents a convergence of issues and interests on anthropological approaches to the study of media. The purpose of this reader is to promote the identity of the field of study; identify its major concepts, methods, and bibliography; comment on the state of the art; and provide examples of current research. Based on original articles by leading scholars from several countries and academic disciplines, Media Anthropology provides essays introducing the issues, reviewing the field, forging new conceptual syntheses.

Telling What-a-Story News Through Myth and Ritual: The Middle East as Wild West

Telling what-a-story news through myth and ritual: The middle east as wild west

Airliners crash, celebrities die, war erupts. Each time, a frenzied newsroom commotion ensues. Journalists have begun pursuit of yet another big story—a highlight of their professional careers—a “what-a-story.”

What-a-story newswork involves a large-scale effort within a media organization to cover a highly unexpected event of major consequences. The full staff is usually called in to help. The regular news of the day is discarded, and the majority of coverage centers around the unexpected event. The newsroom staff is stretched to its limits to get the job done, as journalists work together excitedly to catch the story, put the pieces together, and ...

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