Semiotic over-determination or ‘indoctritainment’: Television, citizenship, and the olympic games

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Media in China: Consumption, Content and Crisis, 2014, pp. 116 - 127
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© 2002 Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Michael Keane and Yin Hong. The involvement of the state-controlled Chinese media in the transmission and production of the Sydney Olympic Games was unprecedented. Chinese Central Television's (CCTV) decision to send many people to Sydney to cover the event ensured that the media would not need to rely on syndicated materials from Western agencies. During the Games, Chinese television visualized the centrifugal power of the People's Republic of China (PRC) with images of patriotic expatriate Chinese. The government's investment in reporting the Games was apparent in the volume of news, but was also evidenced in the careful planning to achieve the desired balance between entertainment value and ideological impact. In watching the Olympic Games the Chinese audiences received a 'package deal', with meaning processed and delivered to effect a 'semiotic over-determination'. The identification of Chinese television spectators with their counterparts in Sydney in the Homebush Stadium points to the power of electronic images to enhance a collective cultural identity.
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