Elihu Katz, Ph.D., Distinguished Trustee Professor of Communication, has received the 2010 ICA Fellows Book Award for his book Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History (written with Daniel Dayan of the French National Center for Scientific Research).
The award is presented by the International Communication Association (ICA) in recognition of work that has made a substantial contribution to the scholarship of the communication field, social sciences, and that have stood some test of time. Any book nominated must have been available for at least the immediate past five years prior to the conference at which the award is presented.
Media Events is a critical examination of live television broadcasts of historic events, which Katz and Dayan argue constitutes a new genre of television. The media events scrutinized in the book include the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, John F. Kenndy's funeral, and the moon landing. Such events and their live broadcasts, say Katz and Dayan, have the potential to fundamentally transform societies.
At the time of its publication, Media Events was regarded as a breakthrough in the study of mass media and communication. "This book marks a milestone in the understanding of how we are affected by television,” said Daniel Schorr of National Public Radio. “It is a comprehensive, thoughtful, and original delineation of a phenomenon of live television as a powerful social force.”
In addition to his position at Penn, Prof. Katz is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (where he founded the school’s Communications Institute); and Scientific Director of the Guttman Institute of Applied Social Research. He is an ICA fellow, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 1989 recipient of the Israel Prize, that nation’s highest honor.
Katz and Dayan were presented with the Award on June 25 during ICA's 60th Annual International Conference in Singapore.