In this article, the author deals with the relationship between the supposed socio-integrative role of media events, as defined by Dayan and Katz, and the processes of European integration and identity building. He focuses specifically on the Eurovision Song Contest and the way it has been historically promoted as a tool for raising European consciousness, as well as on the difficulties with maintaining this role in the context of the growing number of participating countries. These issues are further explored through an empirical analysis of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in the Czech Republic, which was a debuting country that year. This case study shows that the event was largely unsuccessful and met both with a lack of audience interest as well as with media criticism and even disdain. It also demonstrates how, in light of the Czech musical representative's failure in the ESC, the Czech media scene adopted a nationalist-defensive stance and created an image of a moral victory over decadent Europe.
© Walter de Gruyter