How Mediated Sporting Events Constitute Nationalism: Chinese Newspapers Covering the 2014 Incheon Asian Games

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Bo LiUniversity of Arkansas, USA

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Sarah StokowskiUniversity of Arkansas, USA

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Stephen W. DittmoreUniversity of Arkansas, USA

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Olan K. M. ScottUniversity of Canberra, Australia

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Informed by framing theory, the study strove to investigate nationalism by examining Chinese newspaper coverage of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Through document and textual analysis of 324 articles from 5 mainstream newspapers, the study indicated that Chinese newspapers always portrayed Chinese athletes as “dominating the competition” and “lacking opponents in Asia” while portraying other countries’ athletes as “less competitive” and not at the “level of Chinese athletes.” The results also suggested that Chinese newspapers tried to positively spin the story when reporting the failure of Chinese athletes at the Asian Games. However, to increase readership and enhance public awareness of the Asian Games,Chinese newspapers also attempted to created rivalries between Chinese athletes and competing nations and, at times, emphasized national failures.

Li, Stokowski, and Dittmore are with the Dept. of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. Scott is with the Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Bo Li at boli@uark.edu
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