‘Collective memories’ of global media events: Anniversary journalism of the Berlin Wall and Tiananmen crackdown in the Anglo-American elite press, 1990–2014

Celine SONG*, Chin Chuan Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study applies a most similar systems design to examine ‘anniversary journalism’ of two epic global events in the year 1989 – the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Tiananmen crackdown – as reported by the elite press in the United States and Britain from 1990 to 2014, through the combined methods of computerized network-based text analysis and critical historical discourse analysis. Findings suggest that the elite press in both countries continued to view these two events through the lenses of the lingering anti-Communist ideology in the post–Cold War era and shared an increasingly converged cosmopolitan vocabulary primarily in terms of the universal rights of global citizens. Most commemorative anniversary coverage drew on the memory of correspondents who had covered the events. We argue that both US and British representations have become central political-cultural icons facilitating the emergence of a memory transcending national boundaries. Meanwhile, results indicate that elite press discourses in the United States and United Kingdom still varied significantly with their respective national concerns and global position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1460-1479
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • A most similar systems design
  • anniversary journalism
  • comparative research
  • global media events
  • the elite press

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