Sport media exclude female athletes by rarely covering women's sports.7 In addition, when sport media members do cover women's sports, they often trivialize the female athletes by comparing their abilities to men, minimizing their accomplishments or describing them as sex objects.8 Sport media members are also more likely to elaborate on the personal lives and use humor when describing female athletes.9 Women in sports receive more coverage in select individual sports thought by some to emphasize more traditional feminine qualities, such as grace, balance and beauty.10 In contrast, male athletes receive a particularly higher percentage of coverage in sports like American football and basketball that are thought to emphasize more traditional masculine qualities, such as strength, speed and endurance.11 Most analyses of newspaper sports coverage have shown significant gen?der differences in content. In their examination of the coverage of a variety of sports at different levels, Eastman and Billings found men's sports received almost five times more space than women's sports in USA Today and 10 times more space than was allotted to women's sports in The New York Times.14 Jones, Murrell and Jackson examined a sample of sports articles from eight U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times and USA Today, to see how descriptions of female athletes from the Olympic Games reinforced dominant ideologies about gender in society.15 (The authors found media content often deemphasized task-relevant aspects of male-appropriate sports, including bas?ketball, when writing about female athletes' peformance.) Instead, the content focused more on aspects that have no effect on performance, such as physical appearances.16 Eastman and Billings examined a sample from all sports content in The New York Times and USA Today, while Jones et al. specifically looked at content on four women's sports.
38 - Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. 29, No. 3 • Summer 2008 Study Examines Stereotypes In Two National Newspapers by Edward M. Kian A study of The New York Times and USA Today articles on college basketball counters the gender- specific stereotypes found in previous studies on television commentary of Mar
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