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Kian

ISOJ 2007

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Kian

  1. 1. Will a New Medium for Sports NewsWill a New Medium for Sports News Offer Less Trivialization of FemaleOffer Less Trivialization of Female Athletes? Examining Descriptors andAthletes? Examining Descriptors and Traditional Stereotypes in InternetTraditional Stereotypes in Internet Articles on the NCAA Women’s andArticles on the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball TournamentsMen’s Basketball Tournaments Presented byPresented by Edward (Ted) M. Kian, Ph.D.Edward (Ted) M. Kian, Ph.D. University of Central FloridaUniversity of Central Florida
  2. 2. RESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIARESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIA A plethora of quantitative andA plethora of quantitative and qualitative studies on televisions,qualitative studies on televisions, newspapers, and magazines havenewspapers, and magazines have shown sport media provide lessshown sport media provide less and different types of coverage toand different types of coverage to women’s sports than men’swomen’s sports than men’s sports.sports. ( e.g., Bishop, 2003; Kane, 1996; Vincent, 2004)( e.g., Bishop, 2003; Kane, 1996; Vincent, 2004)
  3. 3. RESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIARESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIA Two major themes are prevalent inTwo major themes are prevalent in research on media coverage givenresearch on media coverage given to female athletes:to female athletes: 1. Exclusion: Sport media provides1. Exclusion: Sport media provides minimal coverage of women’s sports.minimal coverage of women’s sports. 2. Trivialization: Describing female2. Trivialization: Describing female athletes as sex objects or comparingathletes as sex objects or comparing their abilities to men.their abilities to men.
  4. 4. RESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIARESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIA Historically, in the Western world sportHistorically, in the Western world sport has served as a hegemonic institutionhas served as a hegemonic institution to preserve the power of men overto preserve the power of men over womenwomen (Schell & Rodriguez, 2000).(Schell & Rodriguez, 2000). Numerous scholars contended that theNumerous scholars contended that the institutions of sport and mass mediainstitutions of sport and mass media combine to reinforce masculinecombine to reinforce masculine hegemony in societyhegemony in society (e.g., Davis, 1997;(e.g., Davis, 1997; Duncan & Messner, 1998; Hardin et al., 2002).Duncan & Messner, 1998; Hardin et al., 2002).
  5. 5. RESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIARESEARCH ON SPORT MEDIA In general, little academic research has beenIn general, little academic research has been done on the emerging field of Internet sportdone on the emerging field of Internet sport journalismjournalism (Real, 2006).(Real, 2006). More than 50 million Americans now employMore than 50 million Americans now employ the Internet as their primary source of newsthe Internet as their primary source of news informationinformation (Pew Research Center).(Pew Research Center). No known scholars have examined if theNo known scholars have examined if the gender-specific stereotypes of female andgender-specific stereotypes of female and male athletes that have been reinforcedmale athletes that have been reinforced through the use of descriptors, portrayals,through the use of descriptors, portrayals, and narratives in broadcast and traditionaland narratives in broadcast and traditional print sport journalism are also prevalent inprint sport journalism are also prevalent in online sportswriting.online sportswriting.
  6. 6. RESEARCH QUESTIONSRESEARCH QUESTIONS RQ1: What types of descriptors andRQ1: What types of descriptors and writing styles do Internet sportswriterswriting styles do Internet sportswriters use when writing about Marchuse when writing about March Madness?Madness? RQ2: Are the gender-specificRQ2: Are the gender-specific stereotypes and descriptors found instereotypes and descriptors found in broadcast commentary of women’s andbroadcast commentary of women’s and men’s college basketball, as well asmen’s college basketball, as well as nearly all types of media coverage ofnearly all types of media coverage of female and male athletes, also found infemale and male athletes, also found in online stories on March Madness?online stories on March Madness?
  7. 7. METHODOLOGYMETHODOLOGY Content analysis of articles on the 2006 NCAAContent analysis of articles on the 2006 NCAA Division I women’s and men’s basketballDivision I women’s and men’s basketball tournaments to examine results on the use oftournaments to examine results on the use of descriptors.descriptors. Content analysis is an unobtrusive or non-Content analysis is an unobtrusive or non- reactive method used by social scientists thatreactive method used by social scientists that has been applied to nearly every form ofhas been applied to nearly every form of communication, such as newspapers, television,communication, such as newspapers, television, and speechesand speeches (Gunter, 2000; Krippendorff, 2004).(Gunter, 2000; Krippendorff, 2004).
  8. 8. SAMPLING SELECTIONSAMPLING SELECTION 249 total byline articles examined and coded249 total byline articles examined and coded on the NCAA Division I women’s and men’son the NCAA Division I women’s and men’s basketball tournaments.basketball tournaments. Two sources:Two sources: – CBS SportsLineCBS SportsLine – ESPN InternetESPN Internet These sources were selected because theirThese sources were selected because their host TV networks broadcasted the women’shost TV networks broadcasted the women’s and men’s tournaments.and men’s tournaments.
  9. 9. A PRIORI CODING PROCEDURESA PRIORI CODING PROCEDURES Text of articles were coded for nineText of articles were coded for nine descriptive categories derived fromdescriptive categories derived from pervious research: (1) physicalpervious research: (1) physical appearances/attire; (2) athleticappearances/attire; (2) athletic prowess/strengths; (3) athleticprowess/strengths; (3) athletic weaknesses/limitations; (4) positive skillweaknesses/limitations; (4) positive skill level/accomplishments;level/accomplishments;
  10. 10. CODING PROCEDURES ANDCODING PROCEDURES AND DATA ANALYSISDATA ANALYSIS (5) negative skill level/failures; (6)(5) negative skill level/failures; (6) family role/personal relationships; (7)family role/personal relationships; (7) psychological/emotional strengths; (8)psychological/emotional strengths; (8) psychological/emotional weaknesses;psychological/emotional weaknesses; (9) humor.(9) humor. Intercoder reliabilityIntercoder reliability
  11. 11. GENERAL FINDINGSGENERAL FINDINGS CBS SL Articles Total Articles % of all Articles Men’s Basketball 74 93.7% Women’s Basketball 5 6.3% Both 0 0% Total 79 100% ESPN.com Articles Total Articles % of all Articles Men’s Basketball 101 59.8% Women’s Basketball 68 40.2% Both 0 0% Total 169 100%
  12. 12. QUESTION 1 FINDINGSQUESTION 1 FINDINGS RQ 2:RQ 2: Are the gender-specific stereotypesAre the gender-specific stereotypes and descriptors found in broadcastand descriptors found in broadcast commentary of women’s and men’s collegecommentary of women’s and men’s college basketball, as well as nearly all types ofbasketball, as well as nearly all types of media coverage of female and male athletes,media coverage of female and male athletes, also found in online stories on Marchalso found in online stories on March Madness?Madness? Assumptions were made based onAssumptions were made based on previous researchprevious research (Billings & Eastman, 2002;(Billings & Eastman, 2002; Billings, Halone, & Denham, 2002; Carty, 2006;Billings, Halone, & Denham, 2002; Carty, 2006; Christopherson, Janning, & McConnell, 2002; EluezeChristopherson, Janning, & McConnell, 2002; Elueze & Jones, 1998; Harris & Clayton, 2002; Messner,& Jones, 1998; Harris & Clayton, 2002; Messner, Duncan, & Jensen, 1996; Vincent, 2004; Vincent,Duncan, & Jensen, 1996; Vincent, 2004; Vincent, Pedersen, Whisenant, & Massey, 2007).Pedersen, Whisenant, & Massey, 2007).
  13. 13. ASSUMPTIONSASSUMPTIONS Women’s stories wouldWomen’s stories would include more descriptorsinclude more descriptors on physical appearances,on physical appearances, family roles or personalfamily roles or personal relationships, athleticrelationships, athletic weaknesses, negativeweaknesses, negative skill level or failures,skill level or failures, psychological orpsychological or emotional weakness,emotional weakness, and humor.and humor. Men’s stories wouldMen’s stories would include moreinclude more descriptors ondescriptors on athletic prowess,athletic prowess, positive skill level orpositive skill level or accomplishments,accomplishments, and psychological orand psychological or emotional strengths.emotional strengths.
  14. 14. PRIMARY RQ FINDINGSPRIMARY RQ FINDINGS However, just one of these assumptionsHowever, just one of these assumptions held true for each area of examination.held true for each area of examination. Overall, online articles had a higherOverall, online articles had a higher average number of descriptors onaverage number of descriptors on athletic prowess for men’s basketball.athletic prowess for men’s basketball.
  15. 15. PRIMARY RQ FINDINGSPRIMARY RQ FINDINGS Most interesting, online writers were moreMost interesting, online writers were more likely to have included descriptors forlikely to have included descriptors for physical appearances/attire and personalphysical appearances/attire and personal relationships/family roles when coveringrelationships/family roles when covering men’s basketball than women’s basketball.men’s basketball than women’s basketball. This contradicted previous media studies onThis contradicted previous media studies on gendered coverage, nearly all of which foundgendered coverage, nearly all of which found descriptors on physical appearances ordescriptors on physical appearances or personal lives used more often in mediapersonal lives used more often in media commentary on female athletes than malecommentary on female athletes than male athletesathletes (e.g., Davis, 1997; Fink & Kensicki, 2002;(e.g., Davis, 1997; Fink & Kensicki, 2002; Kane & Parks, 1992; Messner et al., 1996; Vincent,Kane & Parks, 1992; Messner et al., 1996; Vincent, 2004).2004).
  16. 16. DISCUSSIONDISCUSSION The unexpected results from the aThe unexpected results from the a priori coding suggest online writerspriori coding suggest online writers for at least the two examined mediafor at least the two examined media outlets may now recognize femaleoutlets may now recognize female basketball players for theirbasketball players for their athleticism and skill level at least asathleticism and skill level at least as much as they do for male players.much as they do for male players.
  17. 17. LIMITATIONS/DELIMITATIONSLIMITATIONS/DELIMITATIONS This research only examined two major mediaThis research only examined two major media outlets. Generalizations cannot be made fromoutlets. Generalizations cannot be made from just examining two online sport news outlets.just examining two online sport news outlets. These two outlets are very popular, nationalThese two outlets are very popular, national outlets. However, no smaller, or regionaloutlets. However, no smaller, or regional outlets were examined. Therefore, the scope ofoutlets were examined. Therefore, the scope of this study may have been too broad.this study may have been too broad. Unusual circumstances (e.g., UF basketball)Unusual circumstances (e.g., UF basketball) could have skewed the results.could have skewed the results.

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