In an increasingly fragmented media environment, some issues stand out and generate huge publicity for a limited period of time. Using Scannell's categories, event and happening, the article analyses two cases – the 1994 Olympic Winter Games and the death of Princess Diana. It is argued that they, in order to account for audience involvement and the complexity of meanings, should be analyzed in relation to the discourses and narrative developments across different media that embed the main, televised, moments. It is also argued that today's proliferation of media channels and the presence of new media can contribute to increasing attention and involvement of the audience. Ceremonial media events that previously dominated have moved in two directions: integrative, entertainment oriented events organized by the media and disaster events.