This essay explores how the organizers of the biggest media event in the world, the Olympic Games, interpret and construct their audiences. By critically tracing the discursive evolution of a 50-year span of official Olympic documents, we see the emergence of “the audience” as a key constitutive player in Olympic narratives. This is followed by a recognition of multiple audience groups and an emphasis on publishing publics in the digital era. The findings build on previous research by highlighting an important Western semantic distinction between audiences and publics and questioning what it means to be a member of the modern-day public when that is increasingly linked to digitally publishing an opinion.
Girginova, K. (2016). Rio 2016: Olympic audiences and publishing publics. Communication and the Public, 1(3), 367-371.