This entry focuses on Daniel Boorstin's famous concept of the pseudo‐event and suggests that it should be considered an important application of media effects research. Through an assessment of four constitutive characteristics of pseudo‐events, the entry shows how Boorstin's critique of the social ramifications of the graphic revolution is based on theorizations on how media processes, contents, and technologies influence individual and collective cognitions of both text producers and audiences. These theorizations concern Boorstin's ideas about the susceptibility of newsmakers, the vulnerability of the practices of social institutions to the (commercial) logic of media, the inability of audiences to look beyond mediated reality, and the failure of society more generally to resist the temptations of media technologies. This entry contributes to expanding the agenda of media effects research toward concerns from critical communication scholarship such as deliberate democracy, political publicity, and particularly the media's role in normalizing promotional culture.

Additional Metadata
Keywords citizenship cultural/critical communication political communication PR research
ISBN 978-1-118-78404-4
Persistent URL,
Engelbert, J.M. (2017). Pseudo-events. In International Encyclopaedia of Media Effects. doi:10.1002/9781118783764.wbieme0103