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Work Routines in Newspaper Sports Departments and the Coverage of Women’s Sports

Nancy Theberge and Alan Cronk

The limited coverage of women in the sports media is not due simply to journalists’ bias against women’s sports. The exclusion is woven into news-workers’ beliefs about the contents of the news and their own methods of uncovering the news. Utilizing data from fieldwork in a U.S. newspaper, this article examines some features of the newspaper production process that read women out of the sports news. In casting the news net, journalists seek subjects that are both deemed newsworthy and able to provide reliable and accessible news material. The advantage enjoyed by men’s sports lies in the assumption of greater public interest and the greater resources of men’s commercial sports that guarantee preferred access to the media. Another practice that biases the sports news is standardization of the contents of the sports section. The range of contents is reduced by regularly covering only certain subjects, again mainly men’s sports. Newsworkers see this standardization as a practical necessity that enables them to do their job. They believe they are printing what their audiences wish to read. Their reliance upon bureaucratic news sources and the standardization of the production process mean that newsworkers routinely define sports news as news about men’s sports.

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From Public Issue to Personal Trouble: Well-Being and the Fiscal Crisis of the State

Alan G. Ingham

What follows here is an essay—a rather one-sided viewpoint that is both tentative and, within the limits of a journal article, incomplete. I attempt to understand how our recent preoccupation with our bodies is being mobilized as one solution to the fiscal crisis of the welfare state. The deep-rooted assumptions of voluntarism that characterize liberal ideology, I claim, are surfacing again in the debate over lifestyle. And lifestyle, it appears, has become an ideological construction which diverts attention from the structural impediments to well-being by framing health issues in terms of personal, moral responsibilities—a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” alternative to state intervention in health care. Some implications of the lifestyle ideology for physical educationists are presented.

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Divergence in Moral Reasoning about Sport and Everyday Life

Brenda Jo Bredemeier and David L. Shields

The observation that sport represents a unique context has been widely discussed, but social scientists have done little to empirically examine the moral adaptations of sport participants. In the present study, the divergence between levels of moral reasoning used to discuss hypothetical dilemmas set in sport and in everyday life contexts was investigated among 120 high school and collegiate basketball players, swimmers, and nonathletes. Protocols were scored according to Haan’s interactional model of moral development. It was found that levels of moral reasoning used to discuss sport dilemmas were lower than levels characterizing reasoning about issues within an everyday life context. Findings were discussed in terms of the specific social and moral context of sport experience.

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Editor’s Note