Final Project- Ethical Breach of Sports Journalism in Women's Tennis


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Media outLETS's final project power point examines the ethical breach in sports journalism by comparing and contrasting men's and women's sports coverage. We found that women's sports coverage usually center on sexist topics and false images. In this presentation, we explained why we think there is an ethical breach in women's sports coverage and how it has improved over time because of change in journalistic standards.

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  • People search for injuries, wardrobe malfunctions, and fights in women’s sports, while people don’t really look into the “drama” side of men’s sports
  • We looked specifically into tennis, because tennis is the sport that we found to have pretty fair amount of reports on each sides, but the trend is still women’s sports focused on the “drama” side
  • Sports coverage is a great factor that affects an athlete’s performance and successWomen in tennis and golf are more successful professionally than other female athletes because tennis and golf are non-contact sports, whereas contact sports makes female athletes look aggressiveFemale athletes receive very low media attention based on the percentage
  • Today, women have significantly higher participation in sports
  • This slide can be used as a background before the presentation begins.
  • Mention that while Sports Illustrated website has photo galleries of Serena with pictures of her outfits, there are also photo galleries of Rafael Nadal
  • Women’s on Sunday, men’s on Monday. Nonetheless, decision to put the women’s on Sunday and men’s on Monday. Both on CBS.
  • Mention that tennis blogs we read focused a little more on men’s game, but exclusive women’s blogs like espnW had very good content. Articles had actual analysis of the matches, the strategy, the significance, the rivalries, not just general comments on results and personal stories. Felt like standard, not gender-specific, coverage.Mention that they were born 7 weeks apart and that Williams has had many more injury problems but nonetheless a longer career
  • Final Project- Ethical Breach of Sports Journalism in Women's Tennis

    2. 2. WHAT ARE ETHICS? According to Merriam- Webster dictionary, ethics are: ―Rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad‖ According to the Pew Research Center, the journalism code of ethics states that: 1. Journalism‘s first obligation is to the truth. 2. Its first loyalty is to citizens. 3. Its essence is a discipline of verification. 4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover. 5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power. 6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise. 7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant. 8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional. 9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
    3. 3. WHAT LED TO THIS… • Women are often considered weaker and more delicate than men and therefore are assumed to be less adept at sports. • Society‘s bias toward men as superior athletes and physically stronger beings has rendered women as second-rate counterparts in the sports world. • This bias towards men in sports has sparked far more interest for men‘s sports than women‘s sports, thus weakening support and viewership for women‘s sports.
    4. 4. • Gender was verbally, visually and graphically marked, for example ―Women‘s National Championship,‖ an average of nearly 60 times per game in women‘s basketball, and never was marked in men‘s games (which would be referred to only as ―The National Championship Game‖). • Female athletes frequently were referred to as ―girls‖ and ―young ladies.‖ Male athletes were never referred to as ―boys,‖ but rather usually as ―men,‖ ―young men‖ and ―young fellas.‖ NEWS COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S SPORTS • The Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles analyzed six weeks of NCAA‘s men and women‘s basketball national championship tournament as well as the men‘s and women‘s U.S. Open Tennis Championship and found that:
    5. 5. NEWS COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S SPORTS • News coverage is vital to the success of professional athletes and teams. • Women in tennis and golf have proven more successful professionally than women in more physically demanding sports like basketball or softball. One possible explanation for this is that fans, sponsors, and TV news coverage stations don‘t like the portrayal of woman as aggressive. Golf and tennis are often associated with country clubs and are considered more recreational than traditional, competitive team sports, thus preserving women‘s more mild image. • On an average day, research suggests that 8% of sports stories are about women‘s sports, 5% being about individual sports and 3% being about team sports.
    6. 6. WOMEN’S INVOLVEMENT IN SPORTS • In contrast to their limited coverage, women are increasingly involved in playing sports. Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, the participation of women in intercollegiate sports has increased consistently. As of 2011, 43% of all NCAA student athletes were women and 53% of all NCAA teams were women‘s teams. • Also, women are increasingly interested in reading about sports and watching sports programs. • Though watching sports coverage is still more popular among men, and recent research suggests that domestic roles and gender stereotypes may make it difficult for women to engage more actively as sports viewers, the amount of female readers and viewers is continually growing.
    7. 7. NEWS COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S SPORTS • In the U.S., women account for 27% of regular readers of newspaper sports sections and 45.9% of the audience for the Super Bowl. Further, women now make up the majority of viewers of the Olympics, as they comprised 53.8% of the television audience for the 2012 Olympics. • On KNBC and KCBS, the proportion of "ticker time" (information displayed on a ticker text box at the bottom of a broadcast) devoted to women's sports in 2009 was 4.6%. This is more than triple the airtime on the main broadcasts. • On ESPN‘s ―SportsCenter‖, women's sports were allotted a mere 2.7% of the ticker time, a sad fall from 8.5% in 2004. • This data illustrates just how news networks are literally marginalizing women‘s sports in comparison to men‘s.
    8. 8. NEWS COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S SPORTS • The Amateur Athletic Foundation‘s research of weekday newspapers from the Boston Globe, Orange County Register, Dallas Morning News and USA Today showed that the professional obligation of sportswriters to report the facts wasn‘t fulfilled when they nearly entirely excluded women's sports. • The research found that: – Women-only sports stories accounted for 3.5% of all stories; men's stories made up 81% of the total, while the rest of the stories are men‘s and women‘s sports combined. – In the three-month period that the research was gathered, golf and tennis, sports in which women "have a long tradition of world-class competition,‖ were in their high season, yet a mere 301 women-only articles appeared in the four newspapers during the three months.
    9. 9. ―It's not about the money. It's about the equality message.‖ – Billie Jean King
    10. 10. ―I really like the United States, but that's one thing I don't like, everybody's crazy about money,‖ – Martina Navratilova
    11. 11. ―Wimbledon is like that. You have to overcome a lot of things. They'd write something nice one day, and I'd think maybe they like me a little, and then they'd rip me. I had to stop reading the papers.‖ – Chris Evert
    12. 12. John McEnroeMartina Navratilova "In the meantime she played soccer with boys and ice hockey in the winter and went to school like everybody else,‖ (A Straight- up Cool Martina, 24 Feb, 1975). 1. Treated men and women as if they are different creatures 2. Reported her eating habits and her weight and lots of descriptions on her looks 3. Focused on Martina‘s emotions on the court 4. Scores of her recent games were reported, but lacked analysis of her play ―Some of the weight is gone now, but she remains a sturdy 5‘7". Her shoulders are broad and her arms and thighs look powerful. She has short light-brown hair, as fine as a child's, and her face is dominated by high, wide cheekbones and forthright hazel eyes,‖ (A Straight-up Cool Martina, 24 Feb, 1975). 1. Talked about his success before his professional career in tennis 2. Only mentioned his outlooks slightly 3. Occasionally brings up his thoughts toward his opponents 4. In-depth report and analysis appear more frequently ―So far, Junior's absolutely horrid on-court nature has managed to obscure his wonderful talent. A soccer and basketball player in high school, McEnroe picked up tennis very quickly. Early on he was a natural, and his game mirrors that of his teacher, Palafox—all spins and angles and changes of pace,‖ (Winning Is No Laughing Matter, 11 Dec. 1978). ―A rarity in today's double-fisted tennis world, McEnroe hits one- handed from both sides with the racket head held extremely low. The preparation for each stroke is so casual that often the racket appears to be falling from his hand as he drills winner after winner. McEnroe has such a gift for touch, such a delicate feel, that the ball is seldom out of control. Because of his active, quick wrists, he also gets away with many late hits, the racket suddenly flashing out from his shoulder socket as if no arm were needed as middleman,‖ (Winning Is No Laughing Matter, 11 Dec. 1978). "So, no, I'm not surprised at all. I don't want to be surprised. And I don't want to be satisfied. I mean, it's great to be 19, ranked No. 5 in the world and playing Davis Cup. But this isn't luck. I've worked for this. Let's put it this way. I deserve this,‖ (Winning Is No Laughing Matter, 11 Dec. 1978). ―She did a lot of howling and arm waving, after which she slammed her racket to the ground and lost the last 10 points of the match as the tears flowed. ‗I'm just not ready psychologically,‘ Navratilova said,‖ (A Big Home Victory At Last, 15 Sept., 1975). ―Navratilova is probably the strongest woman in tennis, stronger even than Court, and she moves deftly, always following her left-handed serves and ground strokes to the net and looking to sock away volleys. Her forehand is lethal, so opponents tend to hit to her backhand, which is erratic. When she is getting her first serve in, it is difficult for her foe not to hit a high return that Navratilova swats with gusto,‖ (Love Conquers All, 14 April, 1975).
    13. 13. Suzanne Lenglen, 1922 Mrs. George Wightman, 1924 Carolyn Babcock and Joan Ridley, 1932 Martha Barnett, 1939 Gussie Moran, 1950 Martina Navratilova, 1970 & 1978 Chris Evert, 1976 Tracy Austin, 1981
    14. 14. Serena Williams and Roger Federer in the Media
    15. 15. FEDERER CAREER FACTS • Seventeen Grand Slam Singles titles. • No double titles. • Currently ranked the fourth-best men‘s player in the world.
    16. 16. WILLIAMS CAREER FACTS • Seventeen Grand Slam Singles titles. • Thirteen Grand Slam Doubles titles. • Currently ranked best female player in the world.
    17. 17. OVERALL COMPARISON • Williams‘ career longer, arguably more successful • Federer‘s career shorter, though more dominant while at pinnacle • Both given fair praise in media for success • Williams‘ body, personality also receives more attention than Federer • Federer rivalry with Rafael Nadal highly covered
    22. 22. TENNIS COVERAGE ON TV • Women‘s game now as, if not more, popular on TV as men‘s. • 2013 U.S. Open Women‘s Final between Williams and Victoria Azarenka: 4.9 rating. • Men‘s final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic: 2.8 rating. • Individual women‘s sports more popular than team sports on TV.
    23. 23. TENNIS COVERAGE IN WRITING • Writing in Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report or other outlets mention both • espnW, ESPN‘s women‘s sports blog, has lots of strong content on women‘s game. • Most say Federer would beat Williams head-to-head. • Jury out on who has had better career, but writers argue both.
    24. 24. MARION BARTOLI • Former French Tennis Player – Australian Open (QF 2009) – French Open (SF 2011) – Wimbledon (W 2013) – U.S. Open (QF 2012) • ―There's nothing conventional about Marion Bartoli on a tennis court.‖ – LA Times (July 2013) • Bartoli is known for her unorthodox playing style: she uses two hands on her forehand and backhand
    25. 25. JOHN INVERDALE ON WIMBLEDON 2013 • Inverdale comments that Bartoli is not a ―looker,‖ immediately undermining her grand athletic achievement. • He regards Bartoli‘s looks as if they have some correspondence with her performance. • No reporter would mention a male athlete‘s looks as a context for his success.
    26. 26. • In his comments, Inverdale fed into the sexism and stereotyping that plagues women‘s tennis, and women‘s sports in general. • He makes a comparison between Bartoli and the blonde, long-legged bombshell Maria Sharapova. His statement highlights the typical mold of women‘s tennis stars that attain the most media attention. • Inverdale‘s sexist remarks are indicative of the way in which woman athletes become sexualized by the media. • While male athletic stars are portrayed as heroic, female athletes like Sharapova, Venus Williams, and Danica Patrick sexualize themselves in order to gain the same media attention and revenue as their male counterparts.
    27. 27. THE RESPONSE • Bartoli received a lot of hateful comments from the public on Twitter and other social media sites because she was too ―unattractive‖ to win Wimbledon. • It‘s not just the media that sexualizes women athletes, but the audience itself has become conditioned to fitting female sports stars into that role. • Bartoli, though hurt by Inverdale‘s later retracted comment, proved strong. She said: ―I am not blonde, yes. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely.‖
    28. 28. ―I had the big muscles before they were in. Now it's OK. It's OK to be athletes, to go out there and be strong. There are still plenty of girls out there who are primping before they play a match, making sure they look glamorous, but so many of them now are very athletic and very strong and in-your-face confident, almost arrogant - it's good to see that.‖ – Martina Navratilova "You are going to include us, aren't you? And they said: 'Absolutely not.' I said OK, but I went back to them more than once, and some of them said: 'Nobody would even pay a dime to watch you girls.‘‖ – Billie Jean King
    29. 29. "Any woman who wants to achieve anything has to be aggressive and tough, but the press never sees us as multidimensional. They don't see the emotions, the downs.‖ – Billie Jean King ―Of all the things that have grown out of the bloodless revolution in women's affairs that has been going on for a decade, the most significant is options. Freedom lies in having options, and nowhere has the increase in the number of options for women been more dramatic than in sport.‖ – Chris Evert
    30. 30. CONCLUSION Women’s sports coverage violated the following journalism ethics: 1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. 2. Its first loyalty is to citizens. 3. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant. 4. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional. 5. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience. Today’s coverage has significant improvements. – Women’s Sports Foundation’s Words to Watch. – Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, and many other female athletes. continue to push for change in journalistic standards. – The public supports sexual equality in sports coverage.
    31. 31. CONTACT THE MEDIA OUTLETS • Check out our blog: • On Twitter: • #mediaoutLETS • #ethicalbreachinjournalism • #womenssports QR Code E-mail Us! Luke Emily Tayla Sara
    32. 32. FUTHER READING latest-man-up latest-man-up
    33. 33. BIBLIOGRAPHY "BBC Commentator's Sexist Remarks on Wimbledon Champ Marion Bartoli: "She's Not a Looker"" YouTube. YouTube, 08 July 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Cochrane, Kira. "Billie Jean King: 'It's Not about the Money. It's about the Equality Message'" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 24 June 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Edemariam, Aida. "'They Ripped Me Up'" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 29 May 2006. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Elliott July 6, Helene. "Marion Bartoli Overpowers Sabine Lisicki for 2013 Wimbledon Title." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 06 July 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Griffiths, Rachel. "Navratilova: Double Standard Remains in Sport." BT Sport, 16 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Kirkpatrick, Curry. "A Big Home Victory At Last." A Big Home Victory At Last. SI Vault, 15 Sept. 1975. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Kirkpatrick, Curry. "Winning Is No Laughing Matter." But to the Tennis Public the Bristling Behavior of John. SI Vault, 11 Dec. 1978. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. "Martina Navratilova, 1970 & 1978 - Wimbledon 2013: Tennis Fashion through the Years." NY Daily News. NY Daily News, 28 June 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Messner, Michael. ―Dropping the Ball on Covering Women‘s Sports.‖ The Huffington Post, 3 June, 2010. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
    34. 34. BIBLIOGRAPHY "Principles of Journalism." Pew Research Centers Journalism Project RSS. Pew Research Centers Journalism Project RSS, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Pileggi, Sarah. "The Court Belongs To Chris." From Olympian and Other Heights Came the Candidates:. SI Vault, 20 Dec. 1976. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Pileggi, Sarah. "A Straight-up Cool Martina." Only 18 and on Her Third Pro Tour, This Czech Really. SI Vault, 24 Feb. 1975. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Schimidt, Hans C. ―Women, Sports, and Journalism: Examining the Limited Role of Women in Student Newspaper Sports Reporting.‖ Communication and Sport, 9 Apr. 2013. Web. Apr. 21, 2014. Spaaij, Ramon. "The Sexism That Chokes Women's Tennis." News, La Trobe University. La Trobe University, 30 Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Stein, M.L. "Survey: women's sports coverage shortchanged. A look at four major newspapers finds women's sports underreported." Editor & Publisher 16 Feb. 1991: Academic OneFile. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. Swift, E. M. "It Was A Grave Ending For Arthur." Much to Ashe's Disgust, the Talk at the U.S. Pro Indoor. SI Vault, 05 Feb. 1979. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. Turner, Natasha. "Sexism Causes a Racket at Wimbledon." Ms. Blog Magazine. Ms. Blog Magazine, 12 July 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.