Sports Media Decision Making in France: How They Choose What We Get to See and Read

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Bridget L. Gee Massey University, New Zealand

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Sarah I. Leberman Massey University, New Zealand

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This qualitative exploratory case study redresses the deficit of sports media research in France by undertaking a study of those responsible for the production of sports media content. The central question was, What role do sports media producers play in perpetuating dominant ideologies in sport? Participants were experienced male and female sports content decision makers from major French national television and print media. Data were collected through 9 individual semistructured interviews. The findings highlight how sports are selected for coverage, why women’s sport receives less coverage, and who is responsible. There is an indication that women’s sport is subject to much harsher editorial selection criteria than men’s. The similarities and differences between France and other countries are also discussed. Conclusions were drawn on what role the makers of sports media content have in reproducing this hegemonic masculinity so inherent in sports coverage.

At the time of the study, the authors were with the School of Management, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Leberman still is, and Gee lives and works in Paris, France.

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