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J.A. Carter, Erynn Casanova and David J. Maume

Media guides are constructed by sports organizations as a means for providing information about their organization to mass media professionals. Research on sports-themed mass media has already shown that women are covered less than men, and that the focus on women athletes is disproportionately on their personal lives and physical appearance, but is this true of materials provided to and used by mass media professionals, or more specifically, media guides? This research examines the textual content of 637 athlete profiles in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Media Guide using quantitative content analyses. Findings show significant differences in the size and content of the athlete profiles of women and men, with women athletes’ profiles being longer and containing more personal information than those of men.

Les guides des médias sont élaborés par les organisations sportives afin de fournir de l’information à propos de leur organisation aux professionnels des médias. Les recherches sur les médias ayant pour thème le sport ont déjà montré que les femmes sont moins présentes que les hommes et que le focus sur les athlètes femmes est de façon disproportionnée sur leur vie personnelle et leur apparence physique, mais est-ce vrai du matériel fourni et utilisé par les professionnels des médias, ou plus spécifiquement, des guides des médias ? Cette étude examine le contenu textuel des profils de 637 athlètes dans le guide des médias de l’équipe américaine olympique de 2008 et utilise des analyses de contenu quantitatives. Les résultats révèlent des différences significatives dans la taille et le contenu des profils d’athlètes des femmes et des hommes, les profils des athlètes femmes étant plus longs et contenant plus d’information personnelle que ceux des hommes.

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Jensen Moore, Ashley Hesson and Khristen Jones

This research examined how NBC Universal’s coverage of the Olympic final for the women’s gymnastics teams influenced the news media’s and public’s perceptions of the event. Guided by framing and social construction of reality, the authors conducted a thematic analysis on 487 textual items from mainstream-news and social-media sites. Major themes found were creating drama, caring about ratings/money, crossing ethical lines, embarrassing other media, and following news routines. The analysis indicated that audience members did not prefer the edited version of events. Although incomplete coverage shaped viewers’ perceived reality, many used alternative resources to form an accurate understanding of reality.

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Bridget L. Gee and Sarah I. Leberman

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.

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Joe J. Phua

Research on sports fans has demonstrated a positive relationship between fan identification and self-esteem. The current investigation extended previous research by testing media use as a moderator. The author hypothesized that media use would be positively associated with measures of fan identification and collective self-esteem and also moderate the relationship between these 2 variables. This is because media use enhances positive distinctiveness for fans of sports teams, leading to higher collective self-esteem levels because of the ability to get up-to-date information about the team or player they support. Data gathered from student fans (N = 203) of a major U.S. west coast university football team confirmed the author’s expectations that sports fans’ use of 4 types of media—print, broadcast, online, and mobile phones—moderated the relationship between fan identification and collective self-esteem, with online media having the greatest impact on this relationship.

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Carla A. Santos, Scott Tainsky, K. Alexander Schmidt and Changsup Shim

To date, scholarly attention to mixed martial arts (MMA) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization has been limited. This study sought to address this gap in literature by focusing on the news media’s framing of public officials’ discourse concerning MMA. In so doing, the study addressed the entanglement of news media, sport, and contemporary political maneuvering. Overall, findings suggest two dominant media frames: leveraging of sociopolitical capital to protect societal values and leveraging of sociopolitical capital to advocate for legislation. Specifically, the authors propose that news media have framed and reframed MMA as a succession of moral threats and reassurances that are given voice by public officials in the name of protecting the citizenry.

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Holly Thorpe, Lyndsay Hayhurst and Megan Chawansky

their activities. With the rise of the Girl Effect, many NGOs are incorporating so-called “positive” representations of girls and young women from the global South as part of their organizational campaigns. Yet, such media portrayals demand a “close[r] examination of who represents whom, for what

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Aaron Beacom, Liam French and Scott Kendall

This study, which examines key features of contemporary media representations of disabled athletes in the context of the Paralympic Games, engages with established literature on representations of disability to critically interpret recent trends in journalistic inquiry. The analysis of media coverage of the 2012 and 2014 Paralympic Games identifies salient themes concerning the representation of disability. This, along with an investigation of documentary evidence concerning attempts by key stakeholders including the International Paralympic Committee to influence the nature of representation, contributes to an interrogation of the disability narrative emerging from the Paralympic Games and a consideration of the extent to which media coverage has shifted significantly from previous representations of disability.

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Benjamin Burroughs and Travis Vogan

The growing body of scholarship on sport scandals focuses on how media cover these incidents, how scandalized parties disrupt expectations and repair their images, and the circumstances under which punishment and forgiveness are issued. This article uses Deadspin, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN’s coverage of the 2013 Manti Te’o hoax to suggest that sport scandals also compose instruments through which media outlets fashion their brands, critique competitors, and compete for market share. It demonstrates how these outlets used the Te’o incident to negotiate their positions in the sport-media industry and, more broadly, how sport scandals and coverage of them can reshape that increasingly digital industry’s established hierarchies.

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Shari Lee Dworkin and Faye Linda Wachs

This paper analyzes how mainstream print media polices sexuality through framings of HIV-positive male athletes. We analyze the HIV-positive announcements of Magic Johnson, Greg Louganis, and Tommy Morrison. Specifically, we discuss differences between the framing of gay men (Louganis) and self-identified heterosexual men (Johnson and Morrison). First, there is an extensive search for the ways Magic Johnson and Tommy Morrison contracted HIV/AIDS. Media coverage emphasizes that “straights can get it too” through promiscuity and a “fast lane” lifestyle. Consistent with the historically automatic conflation of HIV/AIDS with gay identity, the media pose no inquiries into the cause of Louganis’ HIV transmission. We close our discussion by focusing on the meaning of extending the signifier of HIV/AIDS beyond gay bodies to include working class and black male bodies. Media surveillance of sexual identity and the body reinforces hegemonic masculinity in sport while feeding into the current sexual hierarchy in U.S. culture.

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Brigid McCarthy

This discussion illustrates how fans of women’s artistic gymnastics have used rapidly innovating platforms for user-generated content to create and access sporting information. In doing so, these fans are contributing to the formation of rich collective intelligences around the sport and how these new-media texts are beginning to affect mainstream sports media coverage. Using gymnastics fandom as an example, this discussion demonstrates how online culture has become a prime outlet for those with niche sporting interests. These new-media forms such as blogs, video platforms, and message boards augment and act as supplements to the mainstream sports media coverage, as well as expanding the kinds of information sports fans now can access in this enriched information environment.