Evaluate discrimination and gender. How does the mass media reflect discrimination when reporting on sports? Discuss what needs to change and provide some practical recommendations.
Discrimination and Gender
The mass media has the sole responsibility of reporting news as it is, without biases or favor. However, in the recent past, more debates regarding the discrimination of women in sports by the media have sprung up. Such debates have led to several talks in social media channels, and additional research studies by various scholars to find long-lasting solutions to the problem (Cooky, Messner, & Musto, 2015). The mass media reflects discrimination when reporting sports in the following ways; one, by displaying women as sex objects, two, by giving more airtime for male sports and establishing more programs discussing men’s games, and lastly, by displaying more obstacles for women in sports compared to the male athletes.
It is no secret that most sports outlets portray women as sexual objects. This often occurs in media reporting where they give more attention to the physical appearance and beauty of women (Kaskan & Ho, 2016). Additionally, in the international or regional tournaments where male athletes are involved, the media shows their women as beautiful beings and not as people who can bring change in the athletics world (Kaskan & Ho, 2016). The mass media has, therefore, for a very long time turned a blind eye to the women’s ability in sports as they take more time talking about their physiques rather than ability in the games.
The mass media also reflects discrimination when they take a long time discussing men’s athletics compared to women’s sports. Most channels such as SuperSport focus more on the men’s games compared to female games. Therefore, it is an apparent discriminatory practice embraced by several sports outlets that believe that men’s sporting events attract more viewership than those of females (Cooky, Messner, & Musto, 2015). The neglect of female champions in the media channels, therefore, demoralizes the upcoming female athletes. It is, therefore, high time for the media to embrace all gender in terms of the amount of time given to their sports and analysis of their games. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage more interviews regarding women’s sports and increasing the time for airing women’s games on national television.
The mass media often present many obstacles for women in sports as compared to men. In most of the sports analysis, women are portrayed as weak genders that cannot what men do in sports (Cooky, Messner, & Musto, 2015). Additionally, the media often reiterates the family roles of women as their key obstacles in sports. Such unfair reporting demoralizes the majority of women who are more determined to achieve their sports ambitions. It is, however, crucial for the media outlets to promote fair and balanced reporting where both men and women are viewed equally.
Finally, the discrimination of women in sport by the
media has led to more harm than good for young females who are determined to achieve
their sports ambitions. As explained in this paper, the mass media should stop displaying
women as sexual objects and instead, focus on their talents in sports. It is
also stressed that both men and women should receive equal airtime in the sports
news. Lastly, the media should cease viewing women as people full of major
obstacles in sports. Gender discrimination is a big hindrance factor to all aspiring
women athletes across the globe; therefore, it is a crucial moment for mass
media to change their reporting.
Cooky, C., Messner, M. A., & Musto, M. (2015). “It’s a dude time!” A quarter-century of excluding women’s sports in televised news and highlight shows.” Communication & Sport, 3(3), 261-287.
Kaskan, E. R., & Ho, I. K. (2016). “Microaggressions and female athletes.” Sex Roles, 74(7-8), 275-287.