Rethinking media events: Large screens, public space broadcasting and beyond.

Mcquire, S.

Go to article

Mcquire, S. (2010). Rethinking media events: Large screens, public space broadcasting and beyond. New Media & Society, 12(4), 567–582.

Broadcasting , Large Screens , New Media Art , Public Culture , Public Space , Surveillance , Television , Urban Spectacle

The current deployment of large screens in city centre public spaces requires a substantial rethinking of our understanding of the relationship of media to urban space. Drawing on a case study of the Public Space Broadcasting project launched in the UK in 2003, this article argues that large screens have the potential to play a significant role in promoting public interaction. However, the realization of this potential requires a far-reaching investigation of the role of media in the construction of complex public spaces and diverse public cultures.

Main finding
This study summarizes the history of large screens in public spaces, which follows a growth trajectory that begins in the 1920s. Contemporary large screens in public squares under study in this case (in the United Kingdom) generally functioned in two modes: “event mode” (i.e., presenting sports or similar to a captive crowd) and “ambient mode” (i.e., more fluid content with a more transient crowd). Large screens in public places could focus on advertising or presenting events, but the author argues such approaches will only sporadically engage audiences. Key questions about how screens in the public domain should be dealt with remain: funding, size/location and how they can to facilitate interaction between public space users.

Description of method used in the article
A case study of the "big screen" Public Broadcasting project in Exchange Square in Manchester, United Kingdom, that began in 2003. Methods are not described clearly in the paper, put appear to include interviews with people affiliated with the project, and a broader consideration of the role of large screens in public spaces.

Of some practical use if combined with other research

Organising categories