Pope as media star: a long career full of reinvention

Way, Maria (2002) Pope as media star: a long career full of reinvention. In: IAMCR 2002 Conference, 21-26 Jul 2002, Barcelona, Spain. (Submitted)


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On the whole, a man who is elected as Pope is well on in years. Some, despite this, have managed to reign for a long time, Leo XIII for instance who came to the throne when he was already seventy in 1878, reigned for twenty five years. Wojtyla was elected when he was only fifty eight, in 1978. In the last century or so, the papacy has become visible worldwide through the mass media. On his accession, Wojtyla was presented as a man's man, a sportsman - according to Professor Eamon Duffy of Cambridge University - as a Bishop with balls. Like other media stars who have stayed the test of time, e.g. Madonna, David Bowie, it seems that he has been able to reinvent his media image to some extent; from the active sportsman to the benevolent grandfather to the ailing figure we see today. He has taken on the aspect of a media star, a world traveller, a spiritual leader, a politician, a mediator and a peace leader. He has been described as the most-photographed person on the planet. This paper will attempt to trace these changes and to ascertain, using Vatican and media sources to discover how much of this continual change is driven by the personality of John Paul himself and how much is a deliberate policy on the part of the Vatican.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:30
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/2372

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