The Construction of Event by the Media: A Study of Actors and Symbolic Landmarks in the Cases of Train Accidents in Yaoundé and Cameroonian President’s Holidays in La Baule in 2009

Celestin Messanga Obama


Two types of facts, of different nature in the public life in Cameroon, have been considered as events. They are, on the one hand, the train accidents that occurred on 28 and 29 August in Yaoundé, and on the other hand, the cost of Cameroonian President Paul Biya’s holidays in la Baule in France, from the 15th August to the 05th September 2009. In the first case, the subject is a spectacular and geographically close fact whereas in the second case, they are non-material and distant facts, having no spectacular character, rather on the symbolic value. This article shows that the event is neither constituted by a specific symbolism intrinsically related to a particular fact, nor by the spectacular aspect of the latter. It is a matter of aggregation of multiple facts which, placed around a central fact, take a precise meaning and give the central fact the dimension of an event. It is a construct that brings together in a narrative spine, symbolic homologies, memory effects and the culture of a given interpretative community.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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