There have been many studies and investigations into the different types and intensity
of the media coverage in sport involving both sexes. This investigation will look at
previous studies and reports carried out by researchers to discover why different
genders receive different media attention in sport, and to see whether this has an
adverse effect on other issues such as participation.
It is a clear fact that men receive much more media attention and coverage than
women in most sporting events. To support this statement Boutiller and San-Giovanni
(1983) report shows that there is very little newspaper coverage (text or photos) of
women sports. The report mentioned that of the 1,200 covers in the first 25 years of
publication, sports illustrated featured only 115 women on their covers. Similarly in
Australian newspapers, only 1.3% of their space was contributed to women's sport
(Mackay and Rowe, 1987).
In fact when media coverage was devoted to women it tended to drift away from their
performance and focus either on their beauty or image (Hargreaves, 1994) or to
highlight female athletes becoming more masculine. For example Willis (1994)
concludes that in order for women athletes to succeed in sport they must fail as
women i.e. women losing their femininity, replacing it with bulging muscles and no
breasts, in order to become the complete athlete.
However, what is mentioned above may not give a clear indication as to why women
are not represented in the media as much as men. One possible reason as to why
women are under-represented in sport is because of money. Media organisations, such
as sports illustrated, are run to generate a profit and will therefore need to focus on
the needs and wants of their customers (Sagas et al., 2000). For that reason, it is
possible that other institutional force will have an influence... [continues]
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