Print Media Framing of the Olympic Games Before Canadian Referendums: The Cases of Calgary 2026 and Vancouver 2010

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom
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This study used a quantitative content analysis and a qualitative thematic analysis to explore how the Olympic Games were framed in print media prior to two Canadian Winter Olympic referendums. Content-analysis results showed that the salient topics and the tone of newspaper articles were framed more positively prior to the successful Vancouver 2010 referendum compared with the unsuccessful Calgary 2026 referendum. The thematic analysis indicated four themes. First, news discourse emphasized the importance of Olympic vision that is congruent with host city needs. Second, the prominence of health promotion through sport as a reported theme was more associated with a successful bid. Third, the communication and quantification of intangible benefits were reported to be increasingly important so that the value of the Olympics can be assessed fairly against the ever-burgeoning hosting costs. Finally, the Olympic brand has been deteriorating, at least over the last 15–16 years according to print media. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Monaghan https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9246-7403

Rocha (claudio.rocha@stir.ac.uk) is corresponding author.

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