Gender, sport and the media: A study of the Canadian television coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games
LE3 .A278 2013
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis examines the representation of female athletes by the media using the key concepts of patriarchy and gender inequality. The study is conducted in the form of two content analyses. The first content analysis studies the Canadian prime time coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games on CTV, and the second content analysis studies fifteen episodes of Sportscentre between August and December 2012 on TSN. The content analyses study both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the coverage in order to obtain results that are both valid and reliable. The findings reveal a significant discrepancy between the representation of women in sports in the Olympics and in regular sports media. The Olympics were found to be fairly gender equitable. Qualitatively, female athletes were treated and discussed in the same ways as men. Quantitatively, women had slightly less coverage time but the difference was not substantial. Sportscentre, however, demonstrated a considerable lack of women’s coverage. Women’s sports were rarely mentioned and stories pertaining to women often did not demonstrate their athletic abilities. These results suggest a need to improve the coverage of women’s sports year round in order to advance perceptions of women’s sports in society and women’s role in the sporting world.
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