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Women In Sports 4

This week is the start of the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, and of course, we are seeing coverage of primarily the men’s tourney.

This week, I read a chapter of MediaSport by Lawrence Wenner.  The chapter I read talked about the asymmetrical gendering of that sport by the titles that we use. He talks about how simply calling the women’s championship as “Women’s National Championship” instead of “National Championship” as the men’s league does, creates a perceived gap between the two leagues, by fans.

There may not be much the journalists can do for this situation, except maybe calling the men’s tournament the “Men’s National Championship,” or calling the women’s championship “The National Championship.”  There is a chance that if something like that would happen, media could have an affect.  This is proven true by journalists putting themselves into the Redskins’ controversy, and actively not calling the team by its name. Many call the Redskins the “Washington Football Club” to promote a change.

Journalists could help promote equality just by distinguishing the “National Championship” as the “Men’s National Championship.”

Question:

What do you think journalists could do to help promote equality in sports?

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Police reopen, and then close investigation of Kurt Cobain

Yesterday, Consequence of Sound reported that Seattle police had decided to reopen the case involving Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Well, the case was quickly closed, but an AP Story (on sfgate.com) reported that Seattle police have released photos from the day of the suicide, which were apparently on an undeveloped roll of film.

Question of the week:

Do you think this “new” evidence will finally put an end to conspiracy theories revolving around the case?

Women in Sports 3

This week, I will again talk about the lack of coverage that women’s sports represent. Only this time, it will be for the television station, ESPN.

First, before I get into my interpretation of what ESPN is doing (in correspondence with the reading I did of C.A. Tuggle’s “Differences in television sports reporting of men’s and women’s athletics: ESPN Sportcenter and CNN Sports tonight), I will show a little bit of information about the company.

ESPN is owned by Disney, and often works with ABC. ESPN is also the most expensive basic cable channel, costing every customer $5.13 on their bills.

ESPN is currently is contracted with the following sports leagues:

NFL

NBA

WNBA

NCAA Football

NCAA Men’s Basketball

NCAA Women’s Basketball

FIFA

NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament (not regular season, for men or women)

NASCAR

NHRA

PBA

World Series of Poker

CFL (certain games)

PGA (certain tournaments)

The station’s target demographic are males, so that could explain why many of the leagues the station shows are male dominated. But something that  Tuggle brought up in the reading is that undercoverage of women’s sports are detrimental because it gives the idea that not many women are playing sports, which is not true. In 2013, ESPN ran a program to celebrate Title IX, but any viewer could tell you just by watching the station, the only women’s sport that is occasionally played on its main station (not including ESPN 2) is NCAA women’s basketball, and even that is under covered.

This weekend features both the NCAA men’s basketball  conference tournaments, and the women’s basketball conference tournaments.

Here is what is featured on the website on March 15:

Image

There is not one single story about women’s basketball. It doesn’t even look like there is a game, judging by the lack of coverage.

This is different than last week’s post, which featured Sports Illustrated, because SI is a magazine and can show postgame coverage and feature stories. ESPN can actually show these sports on its main station (which has more viewers than ESPN 2, where things like the World Series of Poker is played), because they do have contracts to show air some women’s sports.

Question of the week:

Would you like to see more

Original Nirvana drummer to be inducted with band

Today, SPIN reported that Nirvana‘s original drummer, Chad Channing, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, alongside Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl.  

Channing played drums on Nirvana’s first album, Bleach in 1989. He would be replaced by Dave Grohl shortly after.

The Spin article brings up a question as to whether Channing should be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the band. I say yes, because he actually recorded with the band on its first album. This is not a Pete Best situation, where he did not actually record an album with The Beatles. If it were that case, I would say leave him out. Channing did attribute to the recordings of one of the most successful bands in history, he deserves some recognition.

Rock question of the week:

Do you think Chad Channing should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Women in Sports 2

This week, this portion of the blog will look at the lack of coverage of women’s sports on specifically Sports Illustrated. The idea to show the lack of coverage came from an academic journal entry from 11 years ago by Ronald Bishop. Within the entry, Bishop cites several times that women’s sports have grown in popularity over the years and cited a study that analyzed coverage of women’s sports in Olympic years.

Here is a look at the stories featured on the front of Sports Illustrated’s website today:

Screen Cap of Sports Illustrated's featured stories of the day on March 7, 2014.

Screen Cap of Sports Illustrated’s featured stories of the day on March 7, 2014.

As you can see, out of the 14 stories that were featured on the front page of the website, none of them even reference women’s sports.

The closest thing that you get is the very bottom “Swimsuit 2014,” a link to photos for the magazines swimsuit edition.

Here is a screen cap of the lower part of the front page of its website:

A look at the webpage for Sports Illustrated's website on March 7, 2014.

A look at the webpage for Sports Illustrated’s website on March 7, 2014.

Now, there are more things to click on in terms of women’s stories (because there are two stories on women athletes), but you again see a whole section of the website dedicated to showing women’s bodies.

This comes during a week when the No. 2 team in NCAA women’s basketball finished the regular season at 32-0. The magazine could have done better in its coverage by actually covering one of the best teams in that league. If you search “Notre Dame women’s basketball” on the website’s search engine, only articles talking about women’s basketball as a whole will actually come up, and then an article about Notre Dame football. That can be compared to the Wichita State men’s basketball team, who also went 32-0. When you search “Wichita State basketball,” several articles come up about that team going undefeated, and the rest of its season.

Question of the week?

How do you think the coverage of women has changed since 2003 (when Bishop’s article was published)?

Hipster Music Index

This week, priceonomics.com created an index and an info graphic to determine what bands and acts actually get categorized s “Hipster Bands.” The idea of finding out if something is truly hipster or not is very interesting, but it does not seem like this list/ graphic is very accurate. It goes by the score of a review by one website and shows how many shares it should have on Facebook, versus the actual amount of shares and likes the band itself has. 

Another flaw, within the index, Drake is listed as hipster, when we saw last week that he was one of the most streamed artists in the country. The information in the priceonomics article also only takes account into information from 2013-2014, and does not specify what part of 2013 it is referencing. So, that’s a thing.

Rock question of the week:

What is your favorite “hipster” band?

Women in Sports 1

 

This week’s analysis comes from an article I saw during Olympic coverage on the website Bleacher Report, a sports website. On it contained an article called “US Snowboarder Jamie Anderson Says Tinder Is ‘Next Level’ in Olympic Village,” which is about the dating app, Tinder. It focused on a 23-year-old Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson and her experiences with the app.

In the “International Review for the Sociology of Sport,” Alinea Bernstein cited a study from 1999 (cited to only R. Jones), “ that the accounts of females playing the female-appropriate sport had the highest frequency of female stereotypic comments. Thus, the beauty and grace of the gymnasts was still the main point of emphasis, even with the U.S. women’s gymnastics team winning the gold medal for the first time in Olympic history.”

 

That same principle definitely applied during the Olympics, as The Bleacher Report article only said that Anderson won a gold medal 13 paragraphs into the article which was only 16 paragraphs long. Once the medal was mentioned, the author said her decision to stop using the app “might have been the ticket for Anderson.”

 

And then the article ended with this:

 

“Be on the lookout, men. Anderson could be back on the grid and looking for Tinderonis any day now.

 

Just remember: Tinderella has been to the mountaintop, and she has seen the highest heights the platform can deliver. So it might be time to stop skipping abs at the gym.”

 

Ideas of showing female athletes as just grace and beauty, as Bernstein cited in her article, is relevant. Especially because she is the subject of dating lifestyle, which overlooked her gold medal in this specific article.