Many of the sports audience contend that women’s sports are not fun equated to men’s sports. Instantaneously, the men’s sports related to the women’s sports are hardly aired on mass media platforms. Despite the failure to broadcast women sports in the media, it is not hard to come across a sporting event to attend; they are usually held every day, whether in the professional league or at the college level. However, it is not easy to get a woman’s sporting event that you can read about on the mainstream media or watch on the mainstream television channels. Notwithstanding the rising number of female athletes and the women sporting events being hosted, the women’s media coverage is still surprisingly low. This literature review will discuss the evidence that there is a lack of media coverage in women’s sports and discuss the themes related to the issue.
One trend in the research is gender disparity, and it has the most diverse damaging impacts for female sportspersons. In addition to the biased coverage that the female sportspersons undergo, they also lack content for women’s sports. The sports for women are regarded as less fascinating and much slower as compared to that of men. In the same research, there is the issue that individuals noted they had minimal experience with the women’s sports, and a small number of people only watched them on television. The media does not primarily focus on the coverage of women’s sports, which has reduced the tendency through which individuals get to watch the sports and establish a fan base. Regrettably, the media staff have a less probability of noticing this discrepancy than the viewers, which means that the news anchors may not recognize that they are discerning against the female sportspersons. However, the Olympic games are providing the same chances for women’s sports compared to men. The Olympic games display unequal distribution of the women’s sports through various coverages. For instance, the US women’s basketball team won their fifth successive gold medal in 2012; despite this, they received less media coverage than the men’s team who had only won their second successive gold medal received much of the prime-time reporting. These types of misconceptions have been regarding women’s sports have been linked to the inadequate interest in female sports from sports lovers. The misunderstanding has also contributed to the fans holding back from developing interest in female sports and establishing a fan base for the female athletes and the teams. Besides, society’s expectations have also contributed to the increase of the division between girls and boys during youth, making the issue a fact that is not only about the media but also a perception among the youth. However, the press should champion the challenge and play an essential role in changing the inequality among women in sports.
The function of setting the mass media agenda also referred to as the agenda-setting theory, contends that the mass media displays to its audience what to reflect about while through the provision of an issue or a topic with higher value in terms of coverage. Therefore, women’s sports in the viewers’ perception can be regarded as less important than men’s sports because female sports receive less media exposure apart from the 2012 Olympics. Besides, the framing theory contends that the mental schemas facilitate the processing of information, hence shaping what the audience is aware of regarding the topic and their perception regarding the topic based on inclusion performance and the prominence of the frames that is presented by the media. The audience tends to get used to the reference frames offered by the media and view the universe in the same way, therefore influencing the sports fans’ views when the women’s sports are not highlighted. The mere exposure effects argue that the more a person is exposed to a stimulus, the more auspicious they notice it. Hence, when there is exposure to the female athletes and sports that are feminine divergent to masculinity, sports fans start to think that women are only supposed to take part in female sports and not masculine sports. When the media plays a major role in changing perceptions and values concerning women sports, media personality, especially the male members, may be informed of the vast difference in the sporting impact that they might have on women men, boys, and even girls love sports.
This section’s primary trend is to review how the increased coverage towards women sports has changed the attitudes towards women’s sports and changed the perception towards the female athletes and sports of women. The passing of Title IX reinforced a considerable improvement in the number of girls and women that took part in sports over the past four decades (Kane, 1988). With the increase in women and girls participating in women’s sports, there has been an increase in fan base concerning women sports. Many critics and sports fans say women’s sports are boring and complain that female sports are not existing as males. Conceivably, sports fans are not drawn to women’s sports since they are not covered significantly compared to male sports. The lack of female sports coverage can be why they are termed less exciting and less significant than the men’s sports and other topics that are usually the focus in the mainstream media. The increased awareness and exposure of women sports should improve the media’s interests in sports and decrease their bias towards women’s sports and female athletes. The increase in women’s sports coverage will lead to an increase in exposure. Since the more the sports fans are exposed to it the more, the more favorable reactions they will have towards the sport
Although there is a disagreement among the scholars on the reporting of the women sports, the sports fans’ interests might not have been affected by the current sports coverage and the Olympics in 2012. The contestants lacked the personal connection to the female athletes or the women’s sporting after they got a chance to watch them. On the contrary, the relationship with a sport is related to an intense emotional connection among the local and the regional teams. The scholars argue that women’s sports interests may improve if sports fans can easily recognize and connect with local athletes and teams. The scholars contend that the emotional connection to the female team or the athletes will improve interest in watching the team or player and improving the investment among the women’s sport.
Despite the pay gap and inadequate media coverage, women’s representation in sports has experienced advancement. Although the representation is equal as it is supposed to be, it is a challenge for female athletes. The 2018 Olympics had a women’s representation of 38 percent, which is anticipated to improve to 49 percent in the 2020 Olympics (Adams & Tuggle, 2018). Even though there is no nation worldwide that has been able to pledge the equivalent representation of female athletes, women’s focus is required to meet their representation objectives and goals (Shaller, 2013). The worldwide movement by women in the past three decades has geared the revolution and the growth of society’s mindset in relation to women’s sports coverage. The female generation is not regarded as the weaker sex anymore; this has made the men leave some of the managerial position for the women in sports to champion their rights in sports and assist in the coverage of the female sport (Weedon et al. 2016). The motive of the movement is to offer is to ensure that equal representation is not only required for the women to have varied positions but also to motivate them both rationally and substantially. The purpose for the empowerment is to liberate women in the countries that are currently developing to make a step and begin participating in sports as a career. This will establish economically viable women when it comes to sports.
Society, on the other hand, is a stumbling block for female’s sport and offers the media a reason to reduce women’s sports coverage. Society terms some games such as tennis and golf as ladylike games and are meant to be participated by the women. Although women play these games, they are regarded as manly, and society tends to shun women. The primary facts why it is not easy for women to take part in this kind of athletic event is that society regards them as breaking society’s social ethics and culture. The stereotype regarding the sports that women are required to play can be accredited primarily to media farming. Media farming is the piece that portrays a news editor and journalist regards to be the most essential. Through media farming, the editors air the vital aspects of the story and then highlight them; it is also a chance for both the journalist and editor to focus on the essential issues that they perceive more imperative to their sports fans. This strategy’s application has been unfavorable to female sports coverage since the journalists, and the editors focus on masculinity instead of femininity. The audience’s psychology is manipulated through media farming, which makes the audience conform to what to what the journalists and the editors have to air. Media farming is the primary explanation of why men’s sports have been given for focus in media coverage compared to female sports. Another primary feature is male domination; this can describe as the procedure of male supremacy in the community. The mass media champions male dominance concerning the predispositions of male power in the sports world.
The world of commentators is highly dominated by the male generation. A research on some of the major sports companies is there is an increase in the incorporation of the racial diversity in the news coverage by the media. There is minor growth in relation to women given chances to become anchors and commentators. Many females in the athletics world are not everyday presenters; instead, they are supplementary journalists. Although there are advancements in women’s sports participation, sexual segregation still exists, with women holding respectful positions in relation to women holding respectful positions in sports discussions. During some sporting events, the commentators make comments or discussions that do not relate to women’s professionalism in the sporting events (Messner & Cooky, 2010). The discrimination ensures that the number of women sports covered would remain constant. As discussed earlier, increasing the number of females on the panel and making decisions enhances them to cover female sports effectively as they usually provide their women colleagues with more focus than men’s sports In-text citation: (“Sex Discrimination and Intercollegiate Athletics: Putting Some Muscle on Title IX,” 1979). The assortment in terms of race has not been focused on in relation to the female anchors. The research discovered that female reporters are still of white background, meaning that there is still a need for women from varied ethnic backgrounds to enroll (Bernstein et al. 2002). The enrollment will ensure that women from different backgrounds take part in women sporting events and establish curiosity in the viewing of female sports; this will make women reflect on the accomplishments that have been attained by their male colleagues in sport.
Mass media companies can positively transform women’s sports coverage if they hire more women in the sports platform. When women are offered a chance to interview athletes, they tend to provide women with more credit than their male colleagues (Kian & Hardin, 2009). The other probable solution in the media companies being able to alternate on their media setting strategies in relation to their objectives; as stated earlier in this literature review, the mass media companies turn their viewing into the preference of the male sports it would be an advantage if the same mentality is driven towards the women’s sports. The media companies should invest the same technology level in relation to the graphics as invested in male sports. It has been noted that people are not interested in female sports because of the bad quality of graphics and inefficient appeal. When these gears are put into action, the game’s probably standing a better chance of following both abroad and locally is much higher (Tamir et al. 2012). Media companies should hire women commentators that can work alongside their male colleagues. The female commentators will ensure that sexual objectification visual and derogatory phrases while describing the female athletes come to an end. Another perspective to advance sports for women is the dissolution of gender makers in the sports industry. The feature has been seen to relegate women’s gaming and regard them as being other categories of games. The disbandment of gender makers would help improve women’s sports and change people’s perception and make people interested in watching sports. Finally, the media companies should embrace media farming in equivalent magnitudes; initially, it has motivated audiences to prefer watching male sports as equated to the women sports. With the implementation of constructive media farming to female sports, the audience’s mentality towards the female games should change and become less biased.
Finally, since the implementation of the Title IX act, there have been tremendous strides made by women is ensuring that women’s sports are aired through conventional media. The act has certified that every individual taking part in any government-sponsored game does not undergo discrimination concerning their race or gender (Tanner, 2011). Despite this, there is a substantial amount of confrontation from the media. There are also issues where for every dollar that is spent on a female athlete there is the expenditure of double the amount on the male athletes, in other worlds this fails to uphold the Title X. In ligament with other issues such as objectifying female sexuality instead of considering them in relation to their sporting prowess is also a significant drawback. It is essential and necessary that media organizations place equal stress on the way the coverage is shared. The same way that media farming is used when it comes to men should be the same when it comes to women. This implementation of media farming will improve the sports fans’ perception of women’s sports and bring a gradual change. The implementation will eradicate the stereotype that is associated with female athletics and cultivate ethics of expertise. The reporters are asked to avoid derogatory comments in women sports and let go of using visuals that do not uphold women’s sports competence. The future seems promising where there have been improvements in the past years in the coverage in the female athletics, the reduction of the pay gap between the male and the female athletes, and an improvement in representation. Despite the advancements, the improvement is regular and at a slow rate therefore there is need to call for determination and perseverance among the women.
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