On the same team? a qualitative study of female sportswriters' attitudes on covering women's athletics
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Women's athletics regularly receives less media coverage than men's athletics, and female athletes are often portrayed in ways that de-emphasize their athletic abilities. Previous researchers have suggested that increasing the number of women who work in sports media might improve coverage for female athletes. Ten women sportswriters who work at daily newspapers were interviewed to explore how they perceived covering women's sports. Most of the sportswriters said that they did not feel any preference toward covering women's athletics. They said they were more interested in finding good stories to write than pursuing stories based on gender. The sportswriters also suggested that men's sports received more coverage because sports fans were more interested in men's sports. Most of the women said that their bosses do not expect women to cover womenâ s sports because of their gender, but that newspapers' use of the beat system encourages sportswriters of both sexes to cover the top men's professional sports and college football. The widespread use of beats to cover sports and the acknowledgement of what sports constitute the top beats suggests that the profession and the larger field of sports journalism can influence what sports sportswriters want to cover. Organizational culture, new institutionalism, and Bourdieu's field theory can help explain how the sportswriting profession and sports media practices influence sportswriters' decisions on what sports are desirable to cover.
Butler, Bryan Christopher (2008). On the same team? a qualitative study of female sportswriters' attitudes on covering women's athletics. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from