Double Standard

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Double Standard

Women of our time are beginning to break into this male dominated news industry. A recent survey from Ball State University showed that 99% of all broadcast newsrooms have female employees and that now women make up more than 40% of the total broadcast workforce (Papper, 2005). That same survey unfortunately showed that only 10% of local sports reporters are women and that 7% of local sports anchors are women (Sheffer, 2007). These numbers show that women are breaking into the broadcasting industry, but not necessarily into the sports industry. Sports and sports broadcasting has typically been created by men, about men, and reported by men. Tuggle’s (1997) analysis of the effect of sportcaster gender on the proportion of men and women sports stories covered by ESPN’s SportsCenter and CNN’s Sports Tonight, found that despite an increase in female sports reporters, female athletes still receive only 5% of airtime. They believed that maybe with an increase in female sports reporters, there would then be an increase in the airtime of women’s athletics, but they were proven wrong. The viewership for women’s sports did in fact increase, but the airtime was not significantly increased. Sheffer (2007) argues that when media ignore an element of society, it lessens the worth of that element within society as a whole (pg 4). With the lack of coverage of women’s sports, especially in a time now, where there is an increase in participation, this section of sports is belittled and will not be able to break the stereotypes placed on them. This, in fact, could be placed on the same level in regards to female sportscasters. If these women are not getting the airtime and coverage they deserve, they are never going to break the stigma that is placed on them.

The women’s sports that you do see getting a significant amount of coverage and airtime are individual sports where the women are seen as graceful and feminine. Sports like figure skating, golf,...
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