Gender, sport and media

Gender, sport and media

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Gender, sport and media
Dozier, Walter Lee
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Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida
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vi, 264 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Mass media and sports -- Social aspects ( lsch )
Sex role -- United States ( lcsh )
Sports -- Social aspects -- United States ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Applied Anthropology -- Doctoral -- USF ( FTS )


General Note:
Includes vita. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 1999. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 239-245).

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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026595570 ( ALEPH )
43358097 ( OCLC )
F51-00208 ( USFLDC DOI )
f51.208 ( USFLDC Handle )

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GENDER, SPORT AND MEDIA by WALTER LEE DOZIER A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Anthropology University of South Florida August 1999 Major Professor: Susan Greenbaum Ph D


Graduate School University of South Florida Tampa Florida CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL Ph D D i ssertation This is to certify that the Ph D Dissertation of WALTER LEE DOZIER with a major in Appl ie d Anthropology has been approved by the E x am ining Committee on May 6 1999 as satisfactory for the dissertation requ irement for the Doc tor of Ph i losophy degree Examining Committee : Major Professor : Susan Greenbaum Ph. D Member : S. Elizabeth Bird Ph. D Member : Kevin Ye lvi ngton Ph D Member : Maria Vesperi Ph D Member : Randy Miller Ph D


Copyright by Walter Lee Dozier 19 9 9 All rights reserved


This research is dedicated to the memory of Craig Keeler 1950-1999


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Throughout the conceptualization design and multiple rewrites of this document I leaned heavily upon the wisdom and insights of my advisor, mentor and dissertation committee chair Dr Susan Greenbaum She helped me mold a rather broad research topic i nto a focused and functional scientific i nqu i ry I wish to acknowledge her patience guidance and unwaver i ng support I would l i ke to recognize my dissertation committee members-Dr. Mar i a Ve speri Dr Liz Bird Dr Randy Miller Dr Kevin Yelvington and my dissertation defense chairperson, Dr. Navita James-for their valuable counse l and criticisms I extend a special appreciation to a special writer and editor Suzie Siegel for her editing and suggestions and to sports writer Fred Goodall for his assessments and reflections Dr Michael V Angrosino and Dr Jerome Smith prov i ded important criti c isms I thank my mother Mildred Freeney Dozier and extended family members for their support Dr Vincent Hard ing Dr Rachel Harding Rosemarie Freeney Hard ing Dr L eon Hendricks and Fran Hendricks I am indebted to my brother for life Lann e LaMarr Slaughter and his wife Michelle Brown Slaughter for their encouragement and support I e x tend my gratitude to Dr Thomas Kochman Dr Don Saba and Dr Donna Lopian o who prov i ded rare ins i ghts and valuable resources for this research project and to the many journalists coaches and athletes who shared their experiences and time


LISTS OF TABLES ABSTRACT CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Problem and Setting CHAPTER 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS REVIEW OF LITERATURE Media Inf l uence Reproduction of News Gatekeepers Qualitative factors Female Sports Journalists Gender and Sport Media The Anthropology of Masculinity Narratives language and Descriptions Anthropo l ogy of P l ay Games and Sport Sport CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY An Anthropologist s Role Content Analyses Participant Observation Key Informants Assessing Popular Images of Athletes CHAPTER 4 WHERE I'M COMING FROM Social and Cultural Construction Perpetrators Bystanders and Rebels Insensitiv ity and isolation Summary IV v 1 4 11 13 18 22 24 29 30 37 41 47 54 59 62 63 63 67 73 75 76 85 95 101


CHAPTER 5 HISTORY 103 Naturalized Superiority 105 Modern Pioneers 108 Title IX 111 Resistance 115 Summary 117 CHAPTER 6 PRINT MATTERS 119 Free Listing Task 123 Content Analysis Results 125 Photos 127 Stories 128 Copy Inches 129 Qualitative Factors 130 Similarities in Results 133 Year End Stories 133 Conclusion 135 CHAPTER 7 PAGE FIVE 137 Budget D ecis ions 140 Sports Beats 142 Organi zatio nal Structure 143 Perspectiv e and News Judgement 146 Media Influence 147 Male Perspectives 151 Masculinity in Sport M e dia 166 Male Dominati o n 171 Channels of Influ e n ce 173 Femal e Perspectives 17 7 CHAPTER 8 HERSTORY 191 Andi Saioa and Anne 194 Frankie 198 Other Voi ces 200 Accommodation and R es istanc e 203 David and Blak e 207 II


CHAPTER 9 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 212 Findings 218 Sports Enterprise 227 Recommendations 236 REFERENCES 239 APPENDICES 246 Appendix 1 History of Women in Sport 247 Appendix 2 Chronology of Locker Room Access and Incident 255 Appendix 3 National year-end stories 258 Appendix 4 Female Student-Scholarship ratio. 260 Appendix 5 Daily Budget 261 VITA End Page iii


LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Male-Female Photo Comparison Table 2 Male-Female Story Comparison Tabl e 3 Male-Female Copy Inch Comparison Table 4 Conservator Management Hierarchy Table 5 College Coverage by Sports IV 127 129 129 145 165


GENDER SPORT AND MEDIA by WALTER LEE DOZIER An Abstract Of a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Anthropology University of South Florida August 1999 Major Professor : Susan Greenbaum Ph.D v


Dur ing the past twenty-f ive years the number of females part i c i pat i ng in organ i zed sport and athlet i c act i vit ies has more than tripled According to a longitudinal study by Acosta and Carpenter (1988 ) in 1972 the yea r T i tle IX was mandated only 2 1 varsity team sports were offered to collegiate women The numbers grew to 5 6 in 1978 and 7 2 by 1990. In 1971 the number of colleges offer i ng ath l e t ics for women was 280. B y 1985 it increased to 825 However as opportun i ties for females i n sport have grown the sport news coverage of female athletes in med i a has not kept pace Kane and Greendorfer (1994) reported that in a content analysis of feature articles in the magazine Sports Illustrated between 1954 and 1987 male athletes received 91 percent of the total coverage given to athletes during that period. More recently, Duncan Messner and W il l i ams ( 1990 1991) found that little had changed in the pattern of under report ing of women's sports Thi s news gap is manufactured It is soci ally constructed by a ma l e dominated sport media This research looks at the d i fferences in sport news coverage g i ven to male and female ath l etes and the f ram i ng of sport news events by sport news workers whose judgments perceptions and evaluation of sport are influenced by their social norms and life e x periences Abstract Approved _________________ Majo r Professor : Susan Greenbaum Ph D Professor Department of Anthropo logy Date Appro v ed :_5-"-+/ ..... z.....l::cP'-+! ........ l r VI


CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Accounts of the December 22, 1998 collapse of the ABL (American Basketball League ) read like an obituary in some news stories A number of players and coaches said they were caught off guard and stunned by the startling and unexpected announcement. Player reaction ranged from d i sappointment to anger and devastation Many sa i d they learned the league had folded from television news reports rather than league officials In each of the news stories that I read there were two central themes detail i ng the demise of the two-year old league-competition from the r iv al WNBA (Women s National Basketball League ) and the lack of media exposure particulary television ABL CEO and co-founder Gary Cavalli said in a prepared statement: "We fought the good fight, and we had a good run. But we were unable to obtain the television exposure and sponsorship support needed to make the league viable long-term." The question of the lack of media exposure caught my attention because several years ago I watched a television special about the NBA. During that spec i al NBA league commission David Stern praised the role of the media for the growth of that league Quantitative studies of sport media news coverage show conclusively that 1


male athletes receive far greater attention than their female counterparts Some content analyses of print media reveal that at times males receive as much as 90 percent of the sports news coverage. Twelve years of working in sport media has afforded me the opportunity to see and experience how sport med i a operate Supporters of the current sport media paradigm say it is justified because more males play sports and the interest in male athletes guides news decis i ons and presentation Gender equity advocates argue that the threefold increase in female participation in sports during the past 25 years warrants increased coverage I asked myself : what i s going on in sport media that some news workers particularly males are resistant to covering athletic events involving female athletes." And why are some news worker in sport media so opposed to giving female athletes better news coverage." The purpose of this research project is to apply some critical thinking to these questions. As Lichter et al state in their foreword : The targets of our inquiry have begun to concede however grudgingly that their [media] new prominence may justify the same rigorous scrutiny that they i mpose upon other powerful social institutions (Lichter et al : 1986 : xxi). My research looks at journalists perspectives and how they affect news judgment and news repro duction Since much of my experience in journalism has been in sport media it seemed the most appropriate area to begin to generate an effective thesis As well it is within sport that some of the clearest demarcations between gender class hierarchy and power can be identif i ed As Sage ( 197 4 ) suggests 2


if there is a religion in America today it is sport Sport impacts heavily upon a variety of cultural domains from art to mass media economics pol i tics international relations and gender Further in general Americans may be socially conditioned to believe sport is a male domain which is an essential part of my thesis Why should an anthropologist study media? And what connection does anthropology have to sport and gender? Heinermann ( 1993 ) contends that there has always been a relationship between the way people live their lives and the way they approach sport. And according to sociologist Boutilier ( 1983), regardless of what is actually happening to the relationship between women and sport it is the media's treatment and evaluation of that relationship that will shape its direction and content. Since this research had cultural implications anthropology the soc ial science that studies humans and culture seemed a logical path to explore answers While interdisciplinary in scope my research augments existing quantitative research on gender equity in sport w i th quantitative and qualitative research from an anthropological perspective. It is designed to build upon the strengths of anthropology by placing ethnographic descriptions into a wider conte x t to draw the links between the microcosm traditionally studied by anthropologists and the macrocosm that in many ways determines the smaller picture That is to highlight the vertical links that connect the smaller social groups studied by anthropologists to the larger soci ety And as anthropologists Topper and Eiselein (1976) have suggested while mass 3


media have been used to reinforce existing cultural values, it can as well be used as an agent of social change. Prob lem and Setting In this project, the microcosm will be the sports department of a 300,000circulation daily newspaper The Daily Conservator, located in a medium-sized city in the eastern United States. The macrocosm will be gender and sport and its relationship to larger gender issues and relationships to power within American society. I started by looking at the discrepancies between the amount of news coverage female athletes receive and the growing levels of participation and interest in female athletics since the passage of Title IX legislation 25 years ago. Title IX is federal legislation that mandates equity and fairness in sport in educational environments During my field work I saw firsthand that the majority of attention and discussion about sport news was aimed at male athletes elite male ath l etes My research is intended to show how the attitudes and perceptions about gender and sports of sport media gatekeepers affect their news judgment--that subjective representations belie th e social realities of current trends in athletics and contribute to the continuing denial of proper resources and opportunities for females interested in athletics. Chapter two Review of Literature examines the literature and research that guide the theoretical and methodological foundations of my research Literatur e on gender ; media ; gender sport and media ; the anthropology of masculinity and the anthropology of play game and sport are essential to this 4


project. The sources on gender examine the social roles and soc i al expectations of men and women in Amer ica n society An examination of these roles is crucial to my research because gender is a point of demarcation in sport. The sources on media describe and illustrate the news decision-making process and show how the personal perspectives of news workers impact the decision-making process They also provide a contextual understanding of media 's relationship to society For example a review of the literature on media reveals that the problems of personal bias in news reporting generally has not been adequately addressed by news workers who are conditioned to believe that their personal perspectives have minimum or no impact upon news judgment. These sources he lp provide the foundations for addressing unexplored questions about how social norms and the personal perspectives of news workers impact news judgment. Sources on gender sport and media provide evidence that female athletes are accorded less news coverage than their male counterparts and often lesser quality news coverage Sources on the anthropology of play and games link the societal ties of sport and games to social role expectations and gender norms. These combined sources provide the platform for answering my research questions ; what is going on is sport media that certain news workers particular men won 't acknowledge or accept female athletes as worthy o f news doc ume ntat ion Chapter three describes my Methodology. In undertaking this research it was necessary to develop a methodology that would grasp the richness captured 5


by the ethnographic approach while making use of t radi t io nal quantitative data co l lec tion. Th e r efore several t ypes of t echniques we r e incorporated T hese co nsisted of participant observation, ke y informant int e r views, content analysis and a free listing task Key informant int erviews involved formal and informal i nte r views wi t h colleagues at the Daily ConseNator and with journa lis ts fr om other media companies. I also i nterviewed local female athletes and coac he s who are advocates of gende r equity in sports. Some of my res ear ch is gleaned from years of work i n sport media prior t o my d i sserta tion i nternship including informal conversations and observations Existing conte nt analyses ha ve shown th at male athletes receive considerably more attention in sport news cove rag e t h a n females But I felt it was import an t to rep l ica te that kin d o f quan t ita t ive ana l ysis wi t hin m y u n it of st u dy and with in my research population at The Daily ConseNator I n my content analysis I foc used on a season of co lle ge basketball beca u se it provides a n easi l y m easured test. M en and women h ave sim il ar seaso n lengths the rules of t he game are almost ident i ca l and most schoo l s in The Daily ConseNator's cove r age area h ave both men s and women s t eams This move away from a genera l t o a more specific comparison localizes my resea rch to my un it of study. The free listing is desig n e d t o test the cognitive recall a nd sa li en t s of h ighprofile a thl e t es by inf ormants. M y theoretical assumption is tha t males are accorded more media exposu re than females in sport and should have a commensurate cognitive r ecall among the general pop ul at i on. I nforma n ts for the task were c h osen from an a llg ir l basketball 6


practices and sports camps and an academic class at a local high school. Because my duties as a journalist were not detached from that of app l ied anthropologist during my year-long fieldwork internship my role of participant observer involves as much participant as observer. Thus, I feel it is necessary to bare, early on how my life experiences how my perspectives affect my views news judgment and judgments in this project. I do that in chapter 4 Where I'm Coming From It is here that I wil l contextua lize my perceptions of sport and sport media. By revealing personal background information and perspectives I formalize any predilections that determine my gaze or interpretation of sport news As Tuchman ( 1978) asserts the framing of news events is constituted through news organizations made up of news workers whose judgments perceptions and evaluation of news events are influenced by their life experiences. Tuchman states early on in her work that she does not consider the issue that news workers are ind i viduals with persona l concerns and biases topics she says are better left to social psychologists My research in contrast does consider personal beliefs and dispositions as part of the co lle ctive influence of news analysis assessment and decision making within the news organization. Autobiographi ca l in content this chapter describes where I'm coming from while addressing ethical considerations and concerns for my co lleague-informants as defined by the tenets of anthropology In order to contextualize the current sport environment for female athletes I present a historical account of female athletics in chapter five, History. 7


It is a historical review and chronology of female participation in sport from the late 1800s through the 1990s Here I highlight the struggles and hardships as well as achievements and successes of females in sport. The purpose of this chapter is to show that females have been involved in modern sport as long as males and to dispel the often cited and popular theoretical notion that males are biologically predisposed to athletic endeavors while females are not. I start by presenting a chronological chart of female achievements and milestones in sport This chart will go back to the late 1800s and conclude with the successes of female athletes in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta This historical perspective will look at the efforts of females to participate in athletics and highlight attacks on femininity and biological reasoning centered around sex and gender roles abilities and childbirth concerns. This section is essential to the overall purpose of my research because it provides a historical documen tation of female achievement in sport that until just recently has been largely ig nored by sport media. Oftentimes sport media managers cite Title IX legislation as the beginning point of modern female athletics thus deferring questions and issues of equity and fairness in media coverage to the assertion that participation efforts are only 25 years old Because of the significance of Title IX however, I include a section within this chapter on this historic legislation Th e results of the content ana l ysis free listing and qualitative analys i s of coverage w ill be disclosed in chapter six called Print Matters The chapter is 8


titled print matters because it is here that I disclose the quantitative data that is the foundation for my assertions that there is an undeniable "news gap between the amount of sport news coverage accorded to male athletes and what is accorded to female athletes. It is in this chapter that I disclose results of content analyses that apply directly to my unit of study These quantitative data are an essential component of my research because they provide that platform from which I began my qualitative research which is revealed in chapter seven Chapter seven Page Five, looks at the reality of sport news coverage to elaborate my theoretical premise that male athletes are accorded more news coverage than female athletes because of masculine societal norms. The purpose of this section is to show the relationship between social norms sport news workers sport news judgm e nt and th e sport news reproduction decision making process. In this chapter I describe the manner in which decisions and priorities are established on a day-to-day basis within the sports (news) department of The Daily ConseNator For example after a local high school girls basketball team won a state championship the story was placed on page five instead of the front page where all boys state title championship stories are typically placed A post-layout discussion with editors and copy editors revealed that no one took an active interest in the girls basketball story and few editors were familiar with any of the players even though the same team was a state runner up the previous year This section makes use of an organizational chart with which I can trace the decision-making process and examine sport news 9


workers' perceptions that influence sports news reproduction It is here where this project seeks to build upon the strengths of anthropology by placing ethnographic descriptions into a wider context to draw the links between the microcosm traditionally studied by anthropologists and the macrocosm that in many ways determines the smaller picture By looking at and considering news workers as i ndiv iduals with personal concerns and biases that affect their interpre tat io n or view of world eve nts one can better understand their news judgment and subsequent decision making within the news organization Chapter eight Herstory looks at how sport media impact female athletes and athletics. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of sport news in The Daily Conservator tells only half of the story--or, in remaining consistent with those analyses only 10 percent to 20 percent of the story. This chap ter will explore the complex and multilayered cause-a nd-effect relationsh i p between what appears or doesn 't appear in the sports pages and how female athletes perceive their opportunities in sport Boutilier (1983) ca lls the news coverage gap a critical social concern because the power of media plays a significant role in the handicapping of female athletes Chapter nine Findings and Recommendations, contains my final thoughts about why I think this project was worth doing and what I hoped to accomplish I will also cite my recommendat ions for sport new gatekeepers I want my colleagues to be aware that their perspectives and news decisions affect female athletes 10


CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In the introduction of their book Facing Difference; Race, Gender and the Mass Media, Biagi and Kern-Foxworth (1997) wrote that media both reflect and direct how people think about differences That is media reflect who we are socially and culturally by echoing our norms and beliefs systems. My research looks at gender sport and media It is particulary concerned with the disparity in news coverage between male and female athletes. During the past twenty-five years the number of females participating in sport from youth leagues to professional leagues has more than tripled Despite the increased popularity of sport among females news coverage has remained relatively low This gap between increased participation and news coverage tells a great deal about the complex nature of the news reproduction process. Media has a general tendency to accord increased news coverage to popular social trends For example as the popularity of basketball grew among young American males during the late 70s and early 80s so too did the sport news coverage of high school college and professional basketball. Wuest and Bucher (1995) assert that during the last decade the pervasiveness of interest in sport in our society and the growth of media dealing with sport has been phenomenal. The authors state that this 11


growth has contributed to the growth in career opportunities in sport communication Wuest and Bucher wrote : For example the number of sport periodicals has grown including the number of periodicals dealing with specific sport areas such as running body building skiing swimming and bowling Cable television channels such as ESPN provide round-the-clock coverage of sport." Wuest and Bucher (1995 : 378) Yet when young American females followed the basketball trend in the late 80s and early 90s sport media was slow to recognize the growing popularity of the sport among girls and women playing in high school and college. This news gap is the focus of my dissertation research ; It is about gender and its relationship to sports and how mediated messages about sport both reflect and impact gender relations in society My review of literature focuses on the reproduction of news sport media and news narratives about female athletes I wanted to know how news was reproduced and what apparent effects gender has on sport news reproduction As well I wanted to understand how cultural and social norms affect news workers perspect i ves and judgments in news reproduction. My research topic involved a number of complex social and cultural issues but primarily gender sport and media In order to understand these issues it required pulling together a variety of resources far broader than my topic but nonetheless vital for understanding the complexity and intricacy of my research problem I faced the task of developing a research topic that combined the study of gender media sport, cultural norms masculinity 12


femininity ethnicity, news reporting social networks anthropology sociology biology and countless other socio-cultural aspects that are part of the human experience in American society My task was to synthesize the multitudinous related sources and present a researchable topic of inquiry Thus it was necessary to design nexus themes and components, which became the premise fo r the problem setting theory methodology or, the focuses of exploration My review of literature became a way to con te xtua l ize gender sport and media For example by lo oking at the connecti ng points of how play affects sport and how sport affects gender and how gender affects media and how media affects society al l within the framework of culture I began to de l ineate the power relationships the social norming process and enculturation patterns that make up our society As Stevens ( 1 976) asserts cu lture is fundamentally a set of rules for governing behavior My task was to look at the behavior patterns of news workers in sport media and assess the myriad of social influences that go into their news decision making Media Influence According to Shoemaker and Reese (1991) mass communications studies ha ve looked at the process through which messages are rece i ved and understood through a number of theor ies and l evels of analysis The levels range along a continuum from micro to macro Micro studies look at communications act i vity affecting individuals ; macro studies examine social structures that are beyond the control of i ndividuals One of the earl iest theories 13


used to describe the communications process was employed by Lasswell (1948) who proposed a five-tier framework model : Who (communicato r)Says What (media content)-Through Which Channel (me dium ) To Whom (audience) -With What Effect (the effects) Shoemaker and Reese suggest that many studies look at multiple tiers or components but they tend to concentrate on the final two tiers-aud ie nce and effects My research looks at all five tiers but concentrates on the f i rst two tiers-who (news workers) and Says What (media content) By looking at the first two t iers one can begin to examine what the relationship is between the messenger and the message. That relationship ultimately affects the medium audience and effect. Shoemaker and Reese (1991) claim that by looking at the characteristics of communicators (news workers) and at their personal and professional backgrounds the int rins ic factors certain inferences can be made about the influence of media content. Shoemaker and Reese wrote : The commun icators characteristics (such as gender and ethnicity) and their personal backgrounds and experiences (such as rel igious upbringing and their parents socioeconomic status) not only shape the communicators' personal attitudes values and beliefs but also direct the communicator s professional backgrounds and expe riences (suc h as whether the communicator goes to journalism or film school (S h oemaker and R eese 1991 : 54) The authors present a five-level circu lar hierarchical mod el of media influence that suggests individuals media routines organization extramedia (o utside of media) and ideological 14


share an influence on media content. Ind ividuals bring their social norms to the media message. Next, media routines (expectations) influence media content because individuals as social creatures participate in patterns of action that they themselves did not create This is a salient area of examination because it provides a nexus between masculinity or masculine behavior and normal reporter routines. In sport media the social norms of mascul in e behavior not just influence but in fact guide the media routines of individual news workers Shoemaker and Reese wrote : These rout i nes ensure that the media system will respond in predictable ways and cannot be easily v i olated T hey form a cohesive set of rules and become integral parts of what it means to be a media professional" (Shoemaker and Reese 1991 : 86). The authors contend that the study of media routines is linked to an organizational perspective (organization) and that clear analytical similarities surface in regard to constraints in which reporters writers artists and others learn and carry out activities characteristic of their respective roles Organizations differ in how they approach the problem of news reproduction and in their structure. Nonetheless media routines are fairly interchangeab l e between organizations. Extramedia or outside influences on media content often come from special interest groups political action committees and market and economic pressures For instance sports betting and gambl in g has become a big business Wagering on games can be made via telephone or through Internet sites I n 1996 ( Reese 1998 ) there were two online gambling sites 15


handling sports. In 1998 there were 50. On-line sites offer how-to bet information gambling directories fixed odds betting tips and advice and handicapping. Some sites offer advisory letters and advertise free daily picks for baseball golf, hockey tennis professional and college football college basketball and horse racing. Estimates are that Americans will bet more than $600 million in cyberspace each year. The majority of the money will be bet on men's sports. For instance, about $80 million is wagered on the NCAA men s basketball tournament and the Super Bowl. Coakley (1998) contends that media including sport media do not operate in a political or economic vacuum. He wrote: The concerns of those conn ected with sports and the relationships they have with one another are heavily influenced by the social political and economic contexts in which they live (Coakley 1 998: 374). Shoemaker and Reese ( 1991) describe ideology as a soc ietal-level phenomenon rather than an individual belief system. In the United States the dominant ideol ogy i s the fundamental belief in the value of the capit a list economic system private ownership pursuit of profit by self-interested e n t r ep reneurs and free markets Ideologically sports mirror American society Personal or individu a l achievement through winning is an admired and resp ecte d value. Winning is connected to power and greater wealth and economic opportun ities Sage (1990) makes the point that sport needs to be studied in the larger context of politics and economics He views the role of sport in American society as related to social class race gender and the control 16


production and distribution of economic and cultural power Sage wrote : "Americans are not encouraged to critically examine the prevalent attitudes values myths and folklore about sports. This is unfortunate in any social are na because those who do not examine cultural practices cannot see the exten t to which these activities are socially conditioned They w ill have d i ff i culties not just in separating facts from values but also in recognizing how their viewpo ints are influenced by the surrounding political and economic context" ( Sage 1990:1 0). Organized sports ( Coakley 1998) depend on sponsors who have the money facilities and organizational experience. Thus. the economic inequalities that exist i n society sp ill over into sports in a vari ety of ways. Coakley w rote 'I n t h e process of sponsoring the sports that provide entertainment and partic i pa t i on opportunities. those with money and power fund and promote sport forms t hat f i t their own interests and foster ideas support i ve of economic arrange m ents t h a t work to their advantage ( Coakley 1998:322). Shoemaker and Rees e (1991) also suggest that by e x amining m e d i a content. one can pred ict i ts impact on it s audience and make certa i n infe r ences about the content producers (new s workers ) T he y say that if media pr ov [ce most of the reality that peop l e know outside of th eir own persona l experJ e nces then studyi ng m ed i a conten t s i gni f i cantl y h e l ps assess what i t i s thaa people/aud i ence consu me. The aut h o r s say media effects resea rc hers have typically dete r mined w h at message s have an effect on audiences by look i n g at w hat messages a re avai l ab l e to an a u d i e nce Media conten t t h e y a rgue. i s the 17


basis of media impact. The authors wrote: "Studyi ng content helps us infer things about phenomena that are less open and vis ible: the people and organizations that produce the content. We can make infe rences for example, about the consume r demands that give rise to certain content, as well as about the organizational and cultural settings t hat contribute to its production (Shoemaker and Reese 1991 :23). Reproduction of News According to Soley (1992), members of media use their perspectives and what he calls "systematic biases" in the selection of news sources to become at times more news shapers than news reporters. Tu chman (1978) offers a similar view and asserts that the framing of news events is constituted through news organizat i ons made up of news workers whose judgments percept i ons and evaluat i ons of newsworthy events are infl uenced by their lif e experiences. Tuchman says that news isn 't just given. It is reflected through reporters and editors who are like filters Lichter & a l (1986) concur that journa lists perspectives on social reality are guided by their backgrounds beliefs and inner needs Their research findings are based on a lengthy and multifaceted empirica l study that combined public op ini on po lling psychological testing and content analysis Their goal was to examine how social change in contemporary America is shaped by the influences of national or major media. The y looked at not only news reproduction but the initial news events, too. For example to check the accuracy of their content analyses they po ll ed community members 18


and compared their views with journalists' descriptions of them. They found that journalists' descriptions of social reality were profoundly influenced by their personal perspectives Lichter & al wrote: Despite their greater sophistication today those in America still seem to find it difficult to recognize that the facts are not merely given but rather are to some extent determined by the perspective one brings to them" (Lichter & al 1986:5). The authors go on to say there is resistance on the part of some in media to examine and recognize the significance of these influences. According to the authors, 95% of journalist are white and 79% are male. They ask: "What do journalists backgrounds have to do with their work? In general, the way we were brought up and the way we live shape our views of the world. And journalists perspectives on society have obvious relevance to their work (Lichter & al 1986:23). Their findings also challenge the popular notion of "objectivity in journalism The primary function of a journalist is to make an effort to present news as fa c tually and as fairly as possible. According to Roscho (1975) objectivity is the most important of journalist s professional norms because from it flows more specific aspects of news professionalism such as news judgment the selection of sources and the structure of news beats Roshco states that objectivity does not reside in news stories themselves ; rather, it resides in the behavior of journalists. Following the point Soloski writes: Journalist must act in ways that allow th e m to report the news objectively For journalists, objectivity does not mean that they are impartial observers of events ... but that they seek out the 19


facts and report them as fairly and in as balanced a way as possible (Soloski 1997: 143). Many journalists operate under the misguided notion that being objective" is a sufficient or achievable standard i n news reporting. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary (1984) the word objective means; treating facts without distortion; Uninfluenced by emotion, or personal prejudice; Without bias." While these are concrete definitions when applied to real l ife situations they become rather abstract. I say abstract because jou rnalists use the ir own personal experiences and perspectives to routinely direct the thoughts and questions used in news gathering inte rviews. There are undeniably subjective i mpr i nts i n the news-gathering process and editors use the same process in their decision making. They must determine what eve nts are the most newsworthy and how th ose events will be portrayed in news print o r news broadcast. Thi s process is hardly objective. Thus being objective is becoming increasingly problematic as scho l ars and concerned journalists have taken the notion to task For example Bird ( 1 992) found in her rese arch of tabloid writers most of whom have training or experience in regular journalism that they also claim to apply standards of "o bjectivity. Bird wrote: As so many scholars h ave noted (Schil ler 1981; Schundson 19 78, 1982 ; T uchman 1978) objectivity has become a central strategic ritual of journalism which, although in creas ingly under fire is still a co rnerston e of the profession" (Bird 1992 : 92). Phillips (1977) challenges the notion of objectivity by pointing out that by 20


having journalists define objectivity as the balanced reporting of facts the question of whether or not objectivity is possible in its scientific sense is neatly side-stepped Phillips writes : "By definition then journalists are turned into copying machines who simply record the world rather than evaluate it" (Phillips 1977:68) Soloski (1997) concludes that objectivity as practiced by journalists is an eminently practical and successful way of dealing with the complex needs of journalists news organizations and audiences That is by presenting news as a series of facts about events news organizations are protected and insulated from public scrutiny about the way facts are presented. Soloski writes : By reporting the news objectively reader loyalty to a newspaper is not a function of the ideology of that newspaper It is rather based on the thoroughness of the news coverage subscription cost delivery services or some other tangible f actor that a newspaper can control (Soloski 1997 : 144). News reproduction i s the process in which a fact or an event goes through the layers of reporters and editors before it is published or broadcast. Reporters and editors act as filters o r gatekeepers of the facts and events. For example American journalists rout i ne l y apply the label black leader to news sources who are black and present various opinions or points of views related to blacks in America Yet there is no coinciding application of the label white leaders to news sources who are white and present various opinions or points of views related to wh ites i n Amer i ca Even though there has never been an election in America to sanc ti on or authorize anyone as a black leader and in reality it is highly unlikely that one 21


person could legitimately represent the interest of all blacks in America many journalists have been socialized to believe that black leaders exists Again journalists descriptions of social reality were profoundly influenced by their personal perspectives Thus news is the subjective not objective, recording of reality. Gatekeepers Gatekeeper studies are a way of looking at news reproduction The process reveals not only information about news organization and systems but news workers too Shoemaker (1991 1997) describes gatekeeping as the process by which the billions of messages that are available in the world get cut down and transformed into the hundreds of messages that reach a given person on a given day It involves all aspects of message selection handling and control. Sho e maker asserts that on a more microscopic level of analysis gatekeeping also can be thought of as the process of reconstructing the essential framework of an event and turning it into news That is, what part of the story needs to be told? Shoemaker wrote:"People who see an event occur pass along some details and not others (Schramm 1949a) Analysts provide interpretation and can emphasize some aspects while downplaying others. Communicators pick some elements of a message and reject others The elements selected are evaluated according to their importance with the most important elements being displayed most prominently and presented most quickly and/or frequently (1997:57) News events which are out of the cultural or 22


social realm of editors are routinely marginalized or relegated to a low pri ority For example in sport an indiv i dual who is socialized to view sport as a male domain may draw upon that perspective when placed in a gatekeep ing pos i t i on in sport media. And as Soley (1992) has already pointed out members of media use their perspectives and their systematic biases in the se l ect i on of news sources to become at times more news shapers than news reporters White's (1997) research shows that social scientists have bee n aware of this subjectivity for nearly 50 years He ill ustrates the subjective nature of news judgment in a 1949 Gate Keeper" case study in which a w i re editor was as ked to cite the reasons for reject in g news items. For one week Mr. Ga t es as h e w as called, saved every p i ece of wire copy that came to his desk. T h e s t ories that were not used were put into a box next t o his desk and at the e n d of the hi s work shift he wrote on each story why he had re jected it. The ed itor was follJind to have used subjective criteria drawn from his perso n a l ex p e ri e n ces attitud es a nd expectations The reasons ranged from "'not interes t i ng to writing"' tto propaganda n and he' s too red; sour g r apes. Whi te wri t es : T hus w e see tlhat: many of the reasons wh ich Mr. Gates gives for t h e r e jection of the s t o ries 1falll into the category of high l y subjective value-judgmen t s'" (White 1997 : 66)_ Bleske ( 1 997 ) re v i s i ted the study fort y y ears l a t e r but added anottlhle r dimension to the research Whereas Whi te s g a t e keeper was a ma l e o n ltnii s middle 40s with 25 years of expe r ience a nd four gra ndchilldren_ Blleslke" s gatekeeper Ms Gates ," was in h e r earl y 30s a nd h ad five years of j ou m alus m 23


experience. The format for the study followed the work of White but yielded data from just five days. Still, Ms. Gates processed 37 percent more news than Mr Gates because of modern technology. Exact comparison between Mr. Gates and Ms. Gates were difficult to make because of the technological differences. Nonetheless, and most important Bleske found that Ms. Gates too used subjective criteria no room" or would use -in choosing and rejecting wire stories for publication. Editors routinely rank news story in order of importance. For example a story might be worthy of publication or broadcast on a particular day but if another news story of greater importance is presented the initial story may be bumped or not used. Thus the criteria "would use is subject to an editor's preferences. Bleske also found that neither Ms Gates nor Mr. Gates provided many insights into why one story was considered newsworthy and another was not. The absence of this kind of qualitative information which is essential for getting at and pinpointing how personal perceptions might sway or impact news judgment is what guides my research. My research attempts to fill that void by exploring and synthesizing qualitative factors like social norms culture and cultural dispositions -particularly in sport -because they are integral parts of the collective news reproduction and presentation process Qualitative factors Many gatekeeping studies (Berkowitz 1997) have looked at the gatekeeping decision-making processes and the news content that is the outcome of those processes But there also is the notion of looking at the 24


gatekeepers to better understand how news is shaped and how societal factors influence gatekeepers While social scientists have given considerable attention to the process of news gathering and presentation, a review of literature shows there is less research on how the social and cultural disposition of news workers might shape news and even less on sport news workers. The questions of subjectivity are answered in much of the research but the perspectives personal beliefs and dispositions that impart subjectivity are not as adequately addressed For example Tuchman (1978) asserts that the framing of news events is constituted through news organizations made up of news workers whose judgments perceptions and evaluation of news events are influenced by their life experiences But she states that in her research she does not consider news workers as individuals with personal concerns and biases -topics she says are better left to the social psychologists I approached this project with the predisposition that no research which seeks to explore the framing of news can be truly informative without considering the news workers who make up the institution Lapchick explains why : Few people stop to consider whose views are reflected in the events that are selected for news and the subsequent manner in which they are portrayed The viewpoints conveyed through the press a re largely the product of a homogenous group of reporters and editors (Lapchick 1995 : 21 0) Blesk e s (1997) Ms Gates case study is a good example of why personal beliefs and dispositions should be part of any analysis of news media The Ms 2 5


Gates case study illustrates that there are a number of contemplative components in the examination of the social meaning of news including personal perspectives For example, Bleske found that Ms Gates gender did not play a significant role in the updated version of the 1949 case study This is a crucial area of my research Gender and gender roles and how they are played out within society impart my theory and methodology Moreover there are power relationships within media that correspond to gender. They are acutely conspicuous but under acknowledged in the framing of news Only 18 of approximately 940 stories selected in five days by Ms Gates were directly about women s issues or featured women as the main news subjects. Bleske wrote: The pattern appears to support Whitlow s contention that there is a deep-rooted pr e judi ce against women as news makers in soci e ty and among gatekeep e rs .. From the data in this study no conclusion can be drawn about the effect of gender on a gatekeeper. The male domination of the c ontent selected by Ms Gat e s suggests that prejudice against women cannot be over c ome just by assuring that women assume leade r ship roles in newsrooms (1997: 77 79) This is a significant point because it shows that the news gap applies not only to sport media but to non-sport news and that it cannot be simply interpreted as a demarcation by gender If the news gap was demarcated by gender then it might be reasonabl e to assume that Ms Gates would have selected more news stories about women The news gap is a reflection of societal norms which are tied to power relationships with our society and hav e generated a highly 26


subjective paradigm in media. Male and female news gatekeepers both reinforce the societal norms According to Bridge (1995) the overall coverage of women in print and broadcast news media--not just sports--has not kept pace with the increase of women news makers and issues that might affect women like national leadership affirmative action and welfare reform Bridge states that women remain a news minority" and even the negative news, topped by the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, did not contribute enough to improve the percentage of coverage of women Croteau and Haynes (1992) support Bridge's assertion with their research They analyzed transcripts from 40 months of ABC News Nightline (January 1985 through April 1988) that included 865 programs and 2,498 guests. They found that 68 of the 7 4 guests who appeared alone on the program were men and that all 19 of the guests who appeared more than five times were men They also found that 9 out of 1 0 guests who were called upon to discussed issues like international affairs domestic politics or the economy were men. Thus they concluded Nightline bookers appear to turn to men much more often than women for important or hard political and economic news and perspectives Women did appear on the program 41% of the time when there was a discussion about social issues. Croteau and Haynes (1992) assert that the effect of this overwhelming qualitative as well as quantitative male presence in news media has been the promotion of a male-centered value system. As the Ms Gates gatekeeper study 27


showed this value system cannot be recast or transformed by s i mply i nterchanging gender. Again this understanding prevents my research from d e veloping into a myopic-gender polemic Croteau and Haynes wrote : The fact that men dominate the news media through sheer numbers is e x tremely significant in and of itself Liberal critics who tend to have an individualistic approa c h to social problems often see the elimination of employment and promotion barr i ers based on se x as the solution to male dominance of such s o cial institutions as the media However male quant i tative dominance also contributes to a form of qualitative dominance This qualitative dominance is likely to be felt long after the relative numbers of male and female journalists have equalized (Croteau and Haynes 1992 : 162-163) Perhaps the most sa l ient part of my research is reflected in the second part of Croteau and Haynes c ontent analysis of Nightline The authors found that not only women were ex cluded from the program but that only certain kinds of males were selected to a ppea r on the program More than 92 % of the males in their research were des c ribe as elite, white males People of color and non-elites of any ethnicity or gender rarely appeared on the program This too suggests that any analysis of media coverage not be limited to gender but identify and analyze the subtle and not so subtle nuances i n male coverage as well. Croteau and Haynes wrote : "It would be misleading however to suggest that Nightline-or other news media is dom i nated by a l l k i nds of men Nightline s guest list is not s i mpl y stratif i ed by gender On the contrary our research suggest that only certain types of men 28


have regular access to the major news media In fact by excluding certain types of men news media may help to signal appropriate or sanctioned gender and political roles for men The news by taking some perspectives seriously and largely ignoring other can help to constitute an ideal male identity Our study of Nightline suggest some of the characteristics of this ideal man" ( 1992 : 157). Female Sports Journalists Much like their news-side colleagues women working in sport med i a face an overwhelming qualitative as well as quantitative male presence that has led to the promot i on of a male-centered value system In their research on female sports journalists Miller and Miller (1995) found that like Croteau and Hoynes increased numbers of females in the newsroom did not significantly change the quality of the female work experience or the overwhelming male dominance Using the 1993 Directory of the Association of Women i n Sport Media ( AWSM ) the authors mailed questionnaires to 408 members Their survey was designed to explore the experiences of female sports journalists in offices newsrooms a n d press facilities as opposed to locker room environments. They wrote : T h e assumption has been made that since their numbers are increas i ng women a r e steadily gaining acceptance in the sports journalism arena However desp i t e their increased numbers some women are still running into road blocks as th ey attempt to do their jobs and move up the career ladder. ( Miller and M iller 1995 : 883) Miller and Miller found that female sports journalis t s faced greater gender 29


bias in their newsrooms than in they did in lo cke r -rooms of male ath l e tes, One respondent described her work-place experience as being in visible The aut hors state that despite increased numbers, women in sport media sensed they were not having an impact on sports journalism The authors wrote : "'As a matter of fact the opposite is true Female sports journalists say that they are ofte n m ade to feel insignificant treated as a quota' rather than a mer i t hire'' ( Miller a n d Miller 1995:887). Gender and Sport Med i a The number of females participating in sport has g rown tremendo!Uslly since the passage of Title IX in 1972 Accord ing to Carpenter a nd Acosta ( 1995 ) in 1977-78 the academic year just be fore the T itl e IX mandatory rompliiarrlCe date the average number of sports offered women was 5 .61 per sdhlooll .. 19BS the number increased to 7 .31 and in 1996 to 7 .53, a n a U-time hi g h. l n1!lhle 19ln78 school year 90 3 percent of NCAA affiliated colleges oflfered basket0011111f{W women 80 1 percent offered volleyba ll 80 percen t offered tem11ii s aJTTJdl 48 . 4 percent offered softball. Those sports remained amorng ttJhe mostt participation sports in 1996 with basketba ll i rncreasilrng ffirom 9<13 to 98 . 3 volleyball from 80 1 to 92.4 percent and tenn i s ffirom 80 to 87..8 percenrtt.. Sm:xoer and cross country had the greatest in crease going from 2 . 8 and 29 . 4 penoemtt respectively in 1977 78 to 68. 9 and 85.2 percent o m 199!i BaskettDallll.. . te nnis cross country softball soccer. and track and ifii elld! are ttlhe rnoostt collegiate sports with most un i versities fi e l d in g teams ror iilnlttefroOllllleyiialte 30


competition Girls participation in high school sports went from 817 073 in 1972 to 1 779 972 in 1982. In 1995-96 high school girls had their highest ever participation rate of 2,367 936 an increase of 127,475 from 1994-95 During the same per i od 3,634,052 boys participated in high school sports had an increase of 97 693 from 1994-95 (National Federation of State High School Associations 1996) In 1971, 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports In 1996 that figure was 1 in 3. For boys the figure has remained constant at 1 in 2 (Women's Sports Foundation calculation based on NFSHA and Department of Education statistics ) And according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHA) basketball remains high school girls' most popular sport followed by outdoor track and field volleyball and fast-p i tch softball. Over 16 000 high schools (o ut of a total of 20, 000) have g i rls basketball teams (NFSHSA, 1996) According to the American Basketball Council 13 3 million females aged six and over played basketball in 1995 a 21% increase over the 11 million found in 1987 the first year the study was conducted Of the 13 3 million 8 9 million are school-aged girls (ages 6-17) Only volleyball outranks basketball in popularity among girls with 13 8 million participants (BW SportsWire November 25 1996). The Soccer Industry Council of America estimates that 6 7 million females participated in soccer in 1994 Girls aged 1217 who play soccer increased by 37% from 1992 to 1993 when 2 7 million participated i n the sport Approximately 41% of U S soccer players are girls and 31


women (Soccer Industry Council of America 1994) The number of females who participate in sport has increased dramatically but the news coverage of their participation has not. There remains a marked disparity in the amount of news coverage afforded male athletes and female athletes Thus there is a news gap between levels of interest and involvement by participants and the extent to which these events command news coverage Kane and Greendorfer (1994) reported that in a content analysis of feature articles in the magazine Sports Illustrated between 1954 and 1987, male athletes rece i ved 91 percent of the total coverage given to athletes during that period More recently, Duncan Messner and Williams (1990 1991) found that little had changed in the pattern of under reporting of women s sports A 1991 (Duncan Messner and Williams) study of four daily newspapers--the Boston Globe the Orange County Register, the Dallas Morning News and USA Todayfound that stories focusing exclusively on men's sports outnumbered those addressing women's sports by a ratio of 23 to 1 i .e., 96% of stories were about men Even when men's baseball and football stories were eliminated from the totals men's stories still outnumbered women's stories almost 9 to 1 Photographs too presented a slanted picture ; those of male athletes outnumbered those of female ath le tes 13 to 1 Women fared even worse in broadcast reporting A 1991 and 1992 television content analysis study by Duncan et al. yielded similar findings to the print media analysis Ninety two percent of te levi sion air t ime was given to men s sports compared with only 5 32


percent allotted to women and three percent neutral. Katz ( 1996) contends that boys are socialized to feel super io r to girls-especially in sport. As boys take this social disposition into manhood it becomes part of the masculine soci a l consciousness Katz wrote : At an early age they learn to equate femaleness with the undesirable qualitites of weakness fragility and being a loser' ( Katz 1996 : 1 03) Thus the news gap," in sport med i a is linked to and is an extension of other socially constructed gender gaps including economic and political power What media do is re i nforce existing social norms of masculine superiority. Katz wrote: Sport is big business in the United States. College and profess i onal sports and their related industries make up a multibillion dollar enterprise Many non-sports corporations have a financial interest in or do bus iness with sports team In the male-dominated business world sport plays an important role in facilitating and solidifying business and professional relationships ( Katz 1996 : 1 05) Coakely (1998) contends that the existence and success of commercial sports and sport organizations depend upon the media for generating interest which generates revenues Coakley wrote : Without media coverage the popularity and revenue-generating potential of commercial spectator sports would be seriously limited Information about events generates interest and interest generates revenues from the sale of tickets luxury boxes club seats concessions partying team logo merchandise and licens i ng rights After the games or matches have been played the scores become news items and the interpretations of action become entertainment for 33


fans regardless of whether they attended the event in person or not ( Coakley 1998 : 3 7 1 ) The way news media operate are a template for the way sport news media operates That is reporters and ed i tors in sport media also use their life experiences and personal perspective to guide their news judgment. Their news judgment then determines news reproduct i on and news presentation That is reporters don t just tell it l ike it is ." There is a signif i cant social and cultural editing / filtering process that occurs In looking at a power issue in sport-the economics and promotion of women s sports Cramer ( 1994 ) asserts that the economic structure of professional sports in the United States is intrinsically tied to media outlets, sponsors and ticket sales Cramer writes : In the professional ranks women s sports have struggled to get and keep television contracts desp i te the fact that they are a good buy ( read cheap ) in today s high-pr i ced sports marketplace The most succ essful ( read lucrative ) women s professional sports are those t hat feature sponsored tour events suc h as the Ladies Pro f essional Golf Association and have contracts with network and cable stations (Cramer 1994 : 187) But she posits the commerc i al nature of sport in our culture is not well documented or understood As a result Coakley (1998) suggests from his resear c h on sports and economics that the American public i s less likely see sport as a fast-growing business but rather as an enterta i nment pac k age filled with celebr i ty athletes If sport i s seen pr i marily as enterta i nment there will be little scrutiny of i ts bus i ness practices such as the financing of 34


sports stadiums with public tax money while funding for educational programs and city infrastructure repair are cut. When sport media falls to adequately address these kinds of issues in lieu of celebrator player profiles and features the general public has a tendency to follow that lead Coakley writes : Those who make media content decisions act as 'filters' as they select and create the images and messages to be re-presented through the media. In the filtering process they tend to give preference to images and messages consistent with dom i nant ideologies in the society as a whole Thus the media are tied to power relations and often serve the interest of those who have power and wealth in society (Coakley 1998 : 368) MacCiancy ( 1996) posits that sport cannot be comprehended properly without reference to relations of power MacCiancy wrote :"Sport does not merely reveal underlying social values it is a major mode of their expression. Sport is not a reflection of some postulated essence of society but an integral part of society and one moreover which may be used as a means of reflecting on society (MacCiancy 1996 : 4) Interestingly Cramer suggests in her research that the future of sport is closely tied to television exposure As I noted in the introduction to this document the ABL (American Basketball League) one of two women s professional leagues in the United States folded in late December in part from what league founders call the lack of telev ision exposure." This scenario and ones like it contr i bute to the rationale for doing this research First many sport media news workers are unaware of the long-term effects of their decision 35


making and are under the impression they are doing "the right thing." Second most social science research has focused on the news dec i sion-making process while much less attention has been focuses on the decision makers While stating as part of my theoretical construction that sport media spends considerably more time on male athletes than female athletes is not an original concept the idea of exploring the decision-mak i ng process as filtered through news workers especially those in sport media is in need of examination Much the way Miller (1987) embraces Nader s admonition to study up it is useful to look at those in control of sport media namely men in decision-making positions and assess their values and perspectives In light of today's journalistic arrogance and public mistrust of media prompted by the kinds of coverage and reporting witnessed in the Clinton Lewinsky affair, we may need to ask in our society "who will report on the reporters?" Yet there virtually is no qualitative research on the news decision making process in media particularly in sport media. The mal e dominated sport m e dia paradigm is portrayed as natural. Craig (1992) supports the notion that the portrayal of men in media has been seen as unproblematic. In the introduction to his book Men Masculinity and the Media : Research on Men and Masculinities he states that few studies including gender studies have looked at men This dearth of information about men and the behavior of m e n in media is a salient part of my research. Thus his research on men in media is an attempt to fill the void on gender perspectives on men. As a starting point he states that 36


masculinity and femininity behavior commonly associated with gender is seen as acculturated or a learned behavior Unfortunately he suggests ma l e behavior has not been the focus of scholarly inquiry For example Cra i g writes that media content analyses have focused almost exclusively on women This is consistent with what I have found in my research. Craig also writes that few studies have focused on gender images in sport media While traditional gender studies have been synonymous with women s studies emerging theories and concepts derived from men s studies ( Craig 19 92 and Lapchick 1996) are relevant because sport and sport media are dominated by males The Anthropology of Masculinity Gilmore (1990) states that while there is an ever-developing anthropological literature on sex and gender roles issues of manhood have yet to be as seriously considered Gutmann (1997) claims that anthropological research has always involved men talking to men about men But i t i s only recently that the discipline has started to exam i ne men as men Gutmann wrote : Only in the 1980s did men systematically begin exploring men as engende re d and engendering person," (Gutmann 1997:400). The introduction of the examination of men and masculinity into gender studies suggests that men are worthy of study and that gender stud ie s are not and should not be limited to the study of women Gutmann states : Anthropologists of various subjects will re cog nize the taken-for-granted nature of men and manhood in much work to date A quick perusal of the indices to most ethnographies show that woman" 37


exist as a category while men are far more rarely listed Masculin i ty is either ignored or considered so much the norm that a separate inventory is unnecessary Then too gender often means women and not men Gutmann (1997:403). According to Brettell and Sargent (1993) there is no biological evidence even in non-human primates to suggest that females are universally subordinated to males And Tong (1989) points out that women are not inherently politically inferior to men. It is the privilege of patriarchy that provides men with systems of political and economic control. Tong wrote : "Ideally husbands should be as monogamous as their wives but patriarchal society does not require martial fidelity from its men" (Tong 1989:49). Anthropology has been helpful in asking and answering : How different though is maleness from femaleness? Are the differences greater than the similar i ties? And are the differences biogenetic or social constructs around societal values? According to Gilmore "all societies distinguish between male and female ; all societies also provide institutionalized sex-appropriate roles for adult men and women" ( 1993: 163) Even though males and females have much to share phenotypically and biologically there are obvious differences between the two sexes. The most obvious difference between males and females centers around the reproductive process Less recognizable differences are in cellular structure and function But Martin and Voorhies point out: "Although men and women differ fundamentally in every cell in their bodies this difference has limited and specific rather than 38


general genetic effects." (1975:26) According to Gaulin's research (1992) well-sampled populations show that men are reliably 4% to 10% taller then women. Gaulin wrote that the relationship between biology and culture is a central issue in anthropology and that in exploring the differences between females and males neither biology nor culture alone adequately explain the differences. Anthropology has not been void of interest in men s studies as Gutmann (1997) points out. The term "male bonding was invented by anthropologist Lionel Tiger ( 1984) as part of a central theme in discussing men s friendship ; with the explanation that men need some haunts and/or occasions which exclude females (Gutmann 1997 : 393). Gutmann stresses that how masculinity is observed and studied, and how it is manifested culturally can not be neatly packaged in one concept or theory. Currently, anthropology looks at masculinity through four concepts -anything that men think and do ; anything men think and do to be men ; some men are inherently or by ascription considered more manly than other men and, lastly masculinity is considered anything that women are not. How masculinity is defined appears to vary from culture to culture. For example, in Herzfeld s (1985) research on men and masculinity in Crete he found that it was necessary to distinguish between being a good man and being good at b ei ng a man." The premise of the distinction is that performative e x cellence of manliness counts for more than merely being born male. Thus 3 9


masculinity is not uniform even within one culture Gilmore challenges the notion that maleness and manhood are inexorably related He wrote: 'The one regularity that concerns me here is the often dramatic ways in which cultures construct an appropriate manhood the presentation or "imaging" of the male role In particular there is a constantly recurring notion that real manhood is different from simple anatomical maleness ; that it is not a natural condition that comes about spontaneously through biological maturation but rather a precarious or artificial state that boys must win against powerful odds Gilmore (1990) posits that unlike girls who attain major i ty through biological processes boys must be made into men. He states that in many cultures people believe that boys will not mature into men without benefit of the manhood ritual. They believe that real men are made not born Circumcision whippings sexual conquest and bloodletting tests of bravery feats of strength or sexual potency all are part of documented manhood initiation rituals practiced in a number of societies throughout the world In American society boys also face social manhood test and rituals Many are engendered through sport which is sometimes viewed as an obligation for boys but they are not limited to sport For instance Fejes (1992) points to a qualitative analysis of 40 beer commercials that highlight a strong relationship between drinking and a stereotypical view of masculinity In the commercials beer drinking was related to challenge, risk and the mastery over nature technology and other. Women in the commercials were portrayed as mere audience for male activities Fejes 40


wrote : Furthermore boys are initiated into the community of men by their ability to drink Men who are sensitive thoughtful scholarly gay or complex are not present in beer commercials (Fejes 1992 : 14 ) Fejes states that the traditional character of boys is often defined by playing sports going places and making mischief while the traditional character of girls (Dohrmann 1975) is often defined by talking on the telephone and helping with housework Narratives Language and Descriptions An examination of media narratives language and descriptions are useful to my research because much of media s message are contained in words Saba and Jansen (1992) suggests that the dominant narrative structures in sport media construct and valorize hegemonic masculinity In the process other forms and expressions of non-hegemonic models of masculinity are marginalized Since sports journalists use words to convey the thoughts and perspectives that guide their news judgments word usage within the context of sport, media and gender should be scrutinized According to Poynton (1989) words become part of the socialization process They tell children what to think about themselves and others They also tell us about the construction of our social roles and of the shared view of reality held by speakers of a common language But by doing so they can and have constructed limits and restrictions Poynton asserts that when word terms are commonly identified within a certain field like sport they can become identifiable as male or female linguistic domains Poynton wrote : Much of the debate such as it i s aris i ng from feminist critique of the l anguage in 41


relation to gender has focused on words and word forms that overtly denigrate trivialize or exclude women and which assume or cultivate stereotypes of both women and men ( Poynton 1989 : 5). For example in baseball the word-terms first baseman second baseman and third baseman", used to describe three of the four infield positions have male modifiers and project images of male athletes Yet thousands of fema les play baseball and a variant of the game cal led softball and are as well referred to as first baseman second baseman and third baseman. These words function to constr uct and validate masculinity in athletics The word-terms are decidedly androcentric with clear and distinct references to male participation and male qualities. In basketball the term man-to-man" defense and the expression guard your man were clearly developed with the intention of reflecting male participa t ion and subsequent domination of the game This type of word-term construction does not have to be this way. Sport words and terms change and evolve almost from season-to-season For example baseball fans have had to learn a new lexicon in order to keep up with the game New terms like Iongman," shortman," middleman and closer have replaced starting pitcher and 1relief pitcher In football terms like nickel-back, rover trips and flex defenses have only become vogue in recent years. Dur i ng a Longman refers to middle relief pitcher ; shortman, i s a pitcher who pitches no more than two innin gs; middleman is s imilar to Iongman ; closer is a pitcher who will pitcher the final o ut s of a game. Nickel-back, is a fifth defens i ve back added to tour-defensive ba ck formation Rover refer s to a defender who can play linebacker o r defensi v e back 42


recent women's college basketball game one of two women television announcers described man-to-man defense as player-to-player defense, neutralizing the gender significance of the defensive strategy while at the same time not taking anything away from men s basketball. Yet when I related this information to several of my colleague-informants they responded by defending the present word-terms The typical response was: this is a little thing," or it s only words." Poynton (1989) calls the it s only words response typical of male chauvinists and anti-feminist women claims that sexist word-terms are independent of their mean i ng Thus when anti-sexist men and women make efforts to gender neutralize language the efforts and the individuals are demonized as anti-male rather than pro-female or pro-human I know that there are a number of newspapers around the country that have stopped using university nick-names like "Lady Tigers or Lady Gators" or Lady Mocs or Rattlerettes and "Lady Bulls (which I am told is anatomically impossible). In their research on the narrative qualities of news Bird and Dardenne (1997) write that news stories which are by definition culturally constructed narratives receive little serious study The study of these narratives reveal truths about journalists and their perspectives which are not popular among journalists Bird and Dardenne write : Many journalists continue to think in terms of freedom of the press objectivity fairness impartiality balance the reflection of reality true representation readily accepting a clear distinction between fact and opinion and so on (Halloran 197 4 pp 14-15) treating discussion of the 43


relationship between news and story with suspicion (Bird and Dardenne 1997 : 333) An examination of news narratives language and description is important because they tell us something about the construction of news An examination of the construction of news reveals the kind of qualitative information about news gatekeepers that is an essential framework of my research For example a recent news brief from a sport page bore the headline : Girl testifies against Hernandez." the news story was about a 23-year old professional athlete accused of slapping punching and kicking his girlfriend The final sentence of the story read ; Eigarresata 25 testified that the pitcher tried to control her with expensive gifts and threatened to take them away if she didn't do what he wanted." I later saw an electronic office memo from a news side editor to the sports department asking if the use of girl in the headline was appropriate considering that Elgarresata was 25-years old two years older than Hernandez. M cBride (1995) recognizes the links between language and power and draws parallels between war and sport ; both enacted as games .... But what seems most peculiar is that the rhetoric of war and football frequently genders the opponent female as a psychological prerequisite to conflict. Even though the bodies be male construing the enemy as female taps into a withering hostility drawn from the construct of what it means to be a man in a patriarchal culture Oftentimes men rhetorically unman their opponents before attempting to dominate them (McBride : 1995 : xv) To illustrate this point one need not search 44


far for an appropr i ate example Most boys in North American know the term sissy and the implications i t carries Boys know that to call another boy a sissy is one of most demeaning th ings a young male can say to a male peer News narratives like the above examples reveal how stereotypical themes and images of female are presented in media Stereotypical themes and images of female athletes focus on appearances while undervaluing achievement and success Media coverage of sports emphasize that sports participation is more appropriate for boys and men than for girls and women while commenta ries push the ph ilosophy that males are naturally superior to female in sports Coakley s (1998) research on sport and media shows that the women s sports that get a priority by media are those emphasizing grace balance and aesthetics de-emphasizing strength and power Coakley wrote : "In general the media paint a very confused picture of female athletesstrong but weak ; courageous but vulnerable ; powerful but cute Images of strength and weakness often are mixed together in ways that signal ambivalence about women in sports (Coakley 1998 : 386) Tuggle and Owen (1999) found similar results in a content analysis that examined the amount of coverage given to women's events and female athletes by NBC at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games The researchers point to a statement by NBC s Tom Brokaw who said that the gender gap grows smaller every day and that NBC s O lympic coverage helped narrow the gap. They found that women were covered extensively but the covera ge focused on individual 45


sports, esthetic sports like swimming, diving and gymnastics to the exclusion of team sports Citing other studies, they concluded there is a pattern to news coverage of female athletes Tuggle and Owen wrote : Kane (1989 p 60) found that women who participated in socially acceptable sports such as tennis and golf were much more likely to attract coverage from Sports Illustrated than women who participated in team sports. Kane ( 1989) also concluded that women involved in sports with close body contact or physical power as a primary component receive the least coverage. Hence, only those women involved in certain individual sports have been able to enjoy social acceptance and media coverage of their athletic participation (Tuggle and Owen: 1999: 173) Creedon ( 1994) makes the point that media has not yet found a way to consolidate strength and femininity Creedon offers an illustration of media frustration citing an example taken from a Detroit newspaper of 14-year-old Lauren Wolfe Lauren Wolfe has all of the attributes of a normal14-year-old girl. She plays the violin in th e orchestra is treasurer of her eighth grade class. . And Lauren is one of the best mid-Michigan wrestlers for her weight division That's right Lauren regularly hits the mats against male athletes in a male-dominated sport" (Creedon 1994 : 291 ). Creedon says that the reporter portrays Lauren Wolfe as independent and different from other little girls. Language most strikingly the use of the phase attributes of a normal 14-year-old girl followed by the description of her athl e tic talents denotes that normal and athletic" are diametrically opposed terms within this context. Creedon says that by focusing on femininity--and otherness-46


rather tha n athleticism accommodation and resistance can occur simultaneously. Offering an example, Kane and Greendorfer ( 1994) cite the media attention given to sprinter F lorence Griffith Joyner who dazzled spectators at the 1988 Olympic Games with her performances in the 1 00and 200-meters but who may best be remembered for "long tresses, lavish makeup and racy one-legged running suits A lso the researchers wri te that Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt, who won the 1988 Gold Medal is not portrayed as a serious and committed athlete but rather a sexy female who appeared in a German magazine in a peekaboo photo posing in a ve ritable buffet of semi naughty attire Cohen (1993) suggests that media has rema ined for the most part, fo cused on male athletes and writes that there is an ambivalence toward women athletes that has taken the form of symbolic denial of power to women through exclusionary and denigrating tactics She writes : "The power, strength and endurance factors related to drive struggle and strategy in competition are rarely mentioned. Positive images of sportswomen are combined with negative suggestions or innuendo that serve to trivialize or undercut their performance ( Duncan & Hasbrook 1988) Sexist references remain problematic, but the new brand of sexism is more covert (Cohen 1993 : 172 ) Anthropology of Play Games and Sport Literature on the anthropology of play games and sport shows that the enculturation process of sport in Western cultures may be tied to the way children are taught to play. How and when humans play is a socially supported 47


component of human behavior. Norbeck (1976) describes play as an important activity of human life that exists among the members of all human societies Stevens ( 1976) supports this view stating that play is an i ntegral aspect of human social behavior and is an essential element in the description of human behavior He states: There exists a more fundamental fact with which anthropologists must reckon : both animals and people play from b i rth to death Moreover there is solid evidence that play is not only an integral aspect of the mammalian way of life but that it is necessary and vital to 'normal' development of both the organism itself and of its maturation as a social being" (Stevens 1976 : 238-39) Stevens contends that in the study of games anthropology has provided insights into the nature origin and functions of play within culture Stevens says that play is both a biological and a cultural phenomenon that are governed by rules He wrote that culture is fundamentally a set of rules for behavior. It is in this domain --the relationship between play games and sport that research must include descriptions and delineation of gender and the relat io nsh i p between culture and behavior. Perhaps sport with i ts vast influence and popularity can provide another glimpse of the human experience. "It is an understanding of the operation of rules on this level which explains how urban Zulu play soccer how Utes play basketball and how Bachama joke with each other .... We should also be willing to look at such disparate behavior comple x es as religion and ritual and sexual behavior in terms of play" (Stevens 1976 : 246-47) 48


Play has been defined in a variety ways Most definitions appear to consistently reflect the theme of "adult role playing Schwartzman and Barbera (1976) define play from four perspectives : as imitation of and/or preparation for adult life ; as a game or sports activity ; as projection or expressive activity ; and as unimportant or as a miscellaneous pastime The first three areas are the most important to my research because they hold the greatest potential for cross-gender interpretations and analysis The authors describe "play as imitation" as being frequently characterized as imitative or mimetic activity "In these descriptions it is generally said that this sort of activity is important for children to engage in because it prov i des them with an opportunity to learn prepare and practice adult social roles and activities" (Schwartzma n and Barbera 1976 : 12). In describing "play as a game Schwartzman and Barb era contend that the words "play" and "games" have been and are frequently used interchangeably though not necessarily correctly Games they assert, are complete with elaborate rule structures which organize the place time objects (mostly toys) and persons involved in a game As well the system of rules organizing the game likely would be known and remembered by a larger number of individuals than the more idiosyncratic and spontaneously developed type of rules organizing rela tively non-structured play activities Similarly Blanchard and Cheska (1985) define game" as a recreational activity c haracterized by organized play competition two or more sides and having criteria for determining a winner and agreed upon rules Games are classified as those 49


requiring physical skills strategy or chance Schwartzman and Barbera ( 1976) caution that previous anthropolog i cal research has a tendency to focus study and report only formalized game activities unknowing that informal games may lend essential behavioral information about play As it has been established play holds within it a number of social values -including gender. Soc i etal gender values are reflected in the way boys and girls are social i zed to p l ay Variances in play patterns of children i n Western cultures may not be readily identif i ed or easily analyzed by Western social scientists including anthropologists who have been socialized to view traditional play patterns of boys and girls as normal or biological patterns of behavior While contemporary anthropological literature is replete with aspects of play and games from cross-cultural perspectives there is a scarcity of informat i on describing gender perspectives This scarcity of information on how boys and girls relate to play games and sport raises cr i tical questions about gender role enculturation through play and games but offers few answers It also raises critical questions about the way play is analyzed. Referring to cross cultural perspectives Norbeck says that the manifestations of play are sometimes masked by cultural conventions so that they are not readily obvious. Thus : "Play is a conspicuously strik i ng and universal kind of human behavior that is genetically based and cu l turally modified" (Norbeck 1976 : 3). Essent i a l ly the way that Western anthropologists and other social scientists have often described non-Western play through etic perspectives so too have they 50


described play patterns in Western culture For example in Rosenstiel's research on the play and games of urban black children she documents and analyzes games she contends serve several very important social functions Rosenstiel too draws upon the theoretical assertion that ch i ldren's use of play as a prelude to adult behavior has poignant socia l meaning She wrote of her analysis of play : "They are pre-adaptive i e., they provide models for adult a c t i vity although they do not necessar i ly condit ion th e part i cipant to transfer pre c ise response patterns in adult life To a certain e x tent therefore they provide guidelines for the performance of certain adult act i v i ties" (Rosenstiel1976 :3 4). Rosenst i el's ethnographic research describes several games played by black urban children between the ages of 6 and 16 who l i ve in low-income housing developments. One of the games called Hide and Go G i t It, a var i ant of Hide and Seek is recounted as a clandestine c hasing game usually played by children 8 to 12 years of age Rosenst i el points out that th e c hildren are old enough to recognize the difference between males and females and are at the age where they begin to explore sexual differences "The girls run and hide usually in a place where they can be found but try to give the impression that they do not want to be caught. When a l i ttle g irl is caught by a little boy he has the right to have sex with the girl" (Rosenstiel1976 : 34) G i ven the theoreti c al con c ept of structure g i ving way to funct i on and the understanding that play provides gu i delines for the performance of certain adult activ i ties" this research and analys is though not intended to do so points out 51


that early construction of gender roles are reinforced and sanctioned through play Additionally the play described in Rosenst iel's (1976) research allows males the practice of being aggressive dominators (of females) The research appears unwilling to discuss gender difference as i f not wanting to violate existing gender norms in play What would happen if the game structure was altered so that the girls were allowed to be the pursuers and had the right to demand sex from and function as dominators (of boys)? Rosenstiel makes the point that "Playing House" as well offers a glaring example of early gender role construction Each girl c hoose her own role ; and age levels selected were between seven and nine Patterns of family interaction emerged in the role playing and personality differences showed clearly in the simulation . . They took food from an imaginary refrigerator which they called the tr ig chided each other for talking too much or dropping things on the floor at which point one of the girls announced dictatorially "You'll catc h it from mommy for be i ng so messy' ( Rosenstiel 1976 : 39) Again without intention the researcher appears to sanction this type of play as gender appropriate for girls. Structural and functional parallels between childhood play and adult roles can be made here Nowhere in the analys is of Playing House is there mention of boys as participants or contributing informants leading one to the possible conclusion that th i s kind of play is an i nappropriate play pattern for an adult life role for males Examp les of this kind of p lay enculturation are abundant. They have been documented in scholarly as well as popular writings Nelson (1991 ) 52


describes a general American play scenario "Boys are allowed to run and to explore the space around them Girls are restrained by clothing ('Don t l et your panties show') and attitudes Watch in public places: boys race all over the place; girls sit quietly next to their parents It's not that boys have more energy They're given the permission to express it differently" (Nelson : 1991 : 32) Schwartzman and Barbera say that anthropologists generally have been un c on c erned with the perspective of play as unimportant". They contend this lack of c oncern i s coupled with a general d isregard for and dis i nterest i n play in Western soc i eties The authors mainta i n that some anthropologists have reported that in some non-Western societies children do not play because they are put to work at an early age and simply don t have time. But they counter [the suggestion] that research has shown that children play in many non-Western societies though they take on work responsibilities much earlier than Western chi l dren The authors insist the format of many of the ethnographies collected for their research reflects this lack of interest i n that play either is not included as a legitimate ethnographic topic or reports of this activity are combined with a number of unrelated topics in a miscellaneous section As well they wrote that female sports roles have received little attention from anthropologists because traditionally sports activities generally were separated by gender Female play essentially was by and among females out of reach of male anthropologists who were excluded from female a c tivities "In the few cases where this has been contended the ethnographers note interestingly enough that the children in 53


these societies actually do play but what or how they play is either not mentioned or only briefly described. Th is approach again seems to say more about the author's view of play than about its actual significance in the society" (Schwartzman and Ba rbera 1976 : 17) Ethnographic research on games offers a similar link between behavior and analysis of gender norms Blanchard and Cheska ( 1985 ) assert that there is a co rrelation between the nature of games and aspects of c u lture They say that games of strategy are associated with the level of social organization complexity in a society "In other words the more comp le x the social system the greater the likelihood a particular society will have games of strategy" (Blanchard and Cheska 1985 : 22) Here too the authors do not expand upon who within a society -the better educated the financially affluent males etc. -are most likely to participate in games of strategy. But cross-cultural research shows that oftentimes when boys and girls participate in the same games they are placed into separate categories and boys become the focus of attention. In this domain the analysis of play and games for cultural and social significance is abundant but again cross-gender perspectives particularly for girls are lacking. Sport Sport as it is played in most Western cultures appears to be a natural extension of play. The physical and mental skills required in sport are basic elements of play and game Thus sport is a required area of inquiry in the analysis of gender But there are some theoretical and historical considerations 54


that must be regarded especially where anthropology is applied Anthropology with its focus on primitive or small-scale societies and scient i fic approach to prehistory provides a unique theoretical perspective from which to analyze any facet of human behavior -from the subincision rites among the Walbiri in Australia to ostrich rides in central Africa. The anthropology of sport is a relatively recent area of study All four fields of anthropology have made important contributions to the study of sport. According to Blanchard and Cheska (1985) archaeologists have given much in the analysis of some prehistoric athletic contests such as the M i ddle American ball game though little attention as been given to sport as a general category or to prehistoric behavior in other parts of the world Linguistic (Blanchard and Cheska 1985) comparisons have yielded valuable insights on language usage patterns in sport behavior Cultural anthropology has increased the understanding of sport and how it can serve areas such as recreat io n and physical education And i n physical anthropology while rarely involved i n sport-related issues many of the body measurements techn i ques that have been developed by physical anthropologists are used by sports physiologists. Sport in the United States and in many Western societies has become a significant source of cultural influence Sage (197 4) says sport impacts heavily upon a variety of cultural doma i ns from art to mass media economics politics international relations and gender But as Blanchard and Cheska (1985) po int out anthropologists have been slow to recognize the influences sport has on 55


society Thus the attention given to gender and sport has not been adequately addressed in anthropology like it has in other social and behavioral sciences like sociology psychology and history Further they note the growing interest in sport scholarship can be seen in the So cia l Science Citation Index, which from its inception in 1971 through 1981 saw the number of references to sport or sport-related items increase by 510 percent while the total number of index citations increase by only 56 percent. Sport as an area of study and analysis has been equally difficult to define as play and games. Definitions of sport (Schwartzman and Barbera) have been conflicting inconsistent and problematic in terms of research util i ty B y some definitions the essence of sport is competition. Yet there are countless examples of events involving competition that neither involve sport nor are classified as sport. To illustrate this point take students scholars competing for scholarship dollars or marketing personnel competing for sales quota. Ne ithe r event is classified nor called sport yet it is essentially competition. And vice versa skin diving is commonly thought of as sport but it is normally not assigned a competitive marker According to Loy (1968) the concept of game" has been identified as central to the notion of sport But sports such as weightlifting or bodybuilding are not identified as games and games such as Parchees i are not identified as sports "Some efforts at definition have consisted merely of classifying particular games and sports according to their reliance on chance or skill and according to the presence of competitive and game elements but the 56


result is entirely culture-bound and only points to the accidental character of these properties in particular sports" (Schwartzman and Barbera 1976 : 24 ) Blanchard ( 1980 ) says the importance of sport as a dimension of cultural behavior and a legitimate object of anthropological investigation is best illustrated in contextual relationship with rituals and myths in tribal society. Using ethno-historic data collected from the Mississippi Choctaw Blanchard wrote that a game called tali which pitted one local group against another had a wide range of ceremonial and festive events that lite rally involved everyone in the two competing commu n ities Tali is recognized as an early version of stickball or lacrosse. In addition to the competition between the players representing the two localities Blanchard wrote, there also was the confrontation between their respective ritual specialists. Shamans sorcerers drummer chanters and rainmakers all participated i n the ceremonial and festive activities Extending the point Kilmer (1976) writes that myth serves as a means for validating important cultural practices as a base for huma n belief systems and that ritual has been at times and for most people the most important thing in the world Further he states, ritual may be seen as being the action side of myth For example in some sport like religion ritual is the routine of worship "Ritual deals with mythi c themes it takes these themes and illustrates them in group form Ritual takes mythic ideas away from the realm of pure passive thought and places them in the realm of active social phenomena" (Kilmer 1976 : 34) The ritualistic presentation of some sports gives them highly important and significance 57


meaning in some cultures particularly those in the West where it oftentimes rivals religion or marriage ceremonies The connections between sport and anthropology give my research historical depth and perspective B y placing sport within a cultural context the delineation of gender sport and media becomes much clearer In summation a rev i ew of l i terature reveals an abundance of research on the news decision-making process in media Social Science journals are replete with studies on how media operate and how societal values a r e reproduced in news narratives But the literature offers few qualitative insights on the news workers who are responsible for news reprod uction It is the ir perceptions their biases their life experiences and their social values that not just influence news reproduction but in most cases determine news and its value to society Thus who they are socially and cultura lly and their v i ews are worthy of scholarly inquiry The anthropology of play games and sport provides valuable insights i nto the enculturation process and illustrates the social connections between the way children play and some of the behav ior patterns they take into adulthood The literature also suggests that there are links between the way children play the way they are socialized to play and the way they approach sport. 58


CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The phrase news gap refers to the disparity between the growth of general participation and interest in female athletics and the comparable amounts of sport news coverage accorded to male and female athletes These differences reflect an ongoing debate over sport news coverage between news workers in sport media and sport gender equity advocates My research problem focuses on sport media gatekeepers subjective beliefs and opinions about female athletes and the discrepancies between the amount of news coverage female athletes receive and the growing levels of participation and interest in female athletics since the passage of Title IX legislation 25 years ago Title IX is federal legislation that mandates equity and fairness in sport i n educational environments. Since its passage there has been a dramatic increase in rates of participation in female athletics There is evidence ( Acosta and Carpenter 1988) that the number of females participating in sport has more than tripled during the past 25 years In sp i te of these changes the news coverage of female athletes has remained comparatively low as the vast majority of sport news continues to be aimed at male athletes elite male athletes A content analysis of 24 years of the sports magazine Sports Illustrated by Lumpkin and Williams (1991) reported 59


that during that period 3 1 7 8 articles featured men compared to 280 featuring woman The r esearches also pointed out that coverage of women was generally focused on sports like tennis figure skating and synchronized swimming which portray a feminine image rather than an athletic image My research is intended to show how the attitudes and perceptions about gender and sports of sport media gatekeepers affect their news judgment belie the social realities of current trends i n athletics and contribute to the continuing denial of proper resources and opportunit i es to females interested in athletics The growing participation in women s athletics is a newsworthy social trend Sim i lar shifts have occurred in other areas of news and sport For example as the popularity of professional basketball increased during the mid1980s so too did the news coverage of the sport Similarly the increase in participation and popularity of soccer in the Un i ted States triggered an increase i n news coverage of the sport in American newspapers In a non-sport example as weather related events from El Nino began to unfold news stories surround i ng those events increased and public awareness of the phenomena became widespread This is not to suggest that what is happening in the relationship between sport media and gender can be analyzed through a simple cause-and-effect process because it can not. The relationsh i p between gender and sport is complex because of the multi-causal process and influences In this thesis my purpose is to show that distinctive gender issues i n sport media have impeded recognition of the increasing presence and popularity of female 60


athletics I will show that female athletes are oftentimes viewed by sports journalists as intruders who are trying to sabotage the traditional image and makeup of sport while usurping rights and privileges that ma l e athletes have always known The setting for this project was the sports department of a 300 000circulation daily newspaper I'll call The Daily Conservator The newspaper is located in a medium-sized city in the eastern United States This research was designed to examine the sport news decis i on making process The primary focus is on levels of hierarchy in the sport news room dynamics between ed i tors and reporters and male and female sport news workers. Many editors say their news decisions are based solely on public demand and readership interest. However they fail to recognize and acknowledge that highly subjective factors such as personal preferences life experiences and traditional social norms play important roles in influencing how news presentation is determined (Lapchick 1995) I have heard editors speak disparag i ngly about girls and women s sports during casual conversations then hours later make news decisions affecting female athletic event coverage and presentation When I brought this to their attention the editors said there were no connections between their personal perspectives and their news decisions On each occasion the editors said objectivity and readership demands guided their decision making Several different data collection techniques were incorporated in the research design These consisted mainly of an extended part i cipant-observation 61


period key informant interviews and content analyses The extended participant observation period is a result of my employment at The Daily ConseNator While much of the material gathered for the project i s taken from my internsh i p I also have gleaned knowledge and perspective from my informants before and after the internship_ For example one of the content analyses used in this research was published in a news story I wrote in 1993_ And some of my key informant interviews are e x tensions of interv i ews done for news stor i es An Anthropologist s Role My research examines the disparity between the ever-growing participation rates and popularity of female athletics and sport news coverage of female athletes_ Blanchard and Cheska (1985) point out that anthropologists have been slow to recognize the influences sport has on society Thus the attention given to gender and sport has not been as adequate ly addressed in anthropology as i t has in other social and behavioral sciences such as sociology, psychology and h i story This research places the role of sport media and its influential messages and images into an American cultural context As Crane and Angrosino (1992) intend when they cite Hoebel and Weaver (1979): The foundation of cultural anthropology is ethnography Literally the word ethnography means to write about peoples As we use the term it refers to the descriptive study of human societies _ Now most ethnographic work i s done by trained anthropologists who have carefully learned techniques calling for objective and penetrating observation and i nterviewing empathic rapport and 62


accurate reporting Modern cultural anthropologists are expected to undertake ethnographic fieldwork to become fully qualified anthropologists (Crane and Angrosi no 1992: 1 ) Content Analyses A number of previous studies have used content analysis to examine the extent to which male athletes receive more attention than females in sport news coverage Studies by Kane and Greendorfer (1994) and Duncan Messner and Williams (1990 1991) show that male athletes receive the overwhelming amount of news coverage. To establish the extent of the news gap in sports coverage by the Conservator, I replicated this approach I focused on a season of college basketball because men and women have similar season lengths the rules of the game are almost identical and most schools in th e Conservator s coverage area have both men s and women s teams Th e y ear after my internship ended I was assigned a b e at covering sports at a local colle g e On many occasions I wrot e stories of n e arly identic a l length for men s and women s basketball games But upon reviewing the stories in print the following day I noted that the men s stories tended to be longer and were highlight e d with mor e and bigger headlines My analysis was a systemat ic effort to sustain my more casual observations of the disparity Participant Observation Prior to starting my int e rnship I had already sp e nt s e ven years working in newspaper sports departm e nts five of them in my int e rnship e nvironment. Prior 6 3


to my fieldwork internship as a working journalist I regularly urged editors and managers at The Daily Conservator to be more sensitive to news abou t female athletes I pointed out that surveys and research showed that female part icipation i n sport had grown threefold during the past 25 years While their response was positive at times for the most part my co ncerns and my evidence were ignored While a great deal of my research is gleaned from those years of participant-observation they i nvolved me much more as part ic ipant than as observer Th e participant role centered around my gender equity in sport advocacy. Not only did I urge my colleagues in media to take notice of the disparities i n news coverage between male and female athletes I also urged athletic directors school administrators and others associated with sport to be aware of the dispar i ties At t i mes my advocacy created friction especially with those staunchly opposed and resistant to any change in sport paradigms For example at many weekly staff meetings I argued with m y editor about his sexist views and subsequent news coverage decision making There were times when he simply ignored live coverage of events involving high school girls and relegated feature stories to space available status or recommended that other sections of the paper might be better suited for news about female ath letes. Consequently, when it ca me time to change my role from advocate to anthropologist it also became necessary to adjust my comportme nt within my research environment. Th is change in comportment and demeanor toward my colleagues who were soon to be informants too was crucial for three reasons 64


First I did not want to be perceived as confrontational because that would not yield an environment conducive to getting at information through asking questions and getting forthright responses. Journalists are well aware of the necessity to create a comfort zone with news sources because we know that when people (news sources) are uncomfortable they do not give good interviews making for poor reporting Poor reporting leads to poor quality news stories. I think it is safe to conclude that when informants are uncomfortable with a researcher seeking qualitative information, poor quality research will be gained yie lding poor quality results Secondly I did not want to influence news decisions policy or behavior among my colleagues. I am aware my advocacy has affected the way some news decisions have been made within my work environment. For examp l e during a staff meeting the year prior to my fieldwork internship my editor assigned county-wide coverage of boys' basketball playoff games using staff writers but failed to assign any county-w ide coverage for girls When I comp l ained he reluctantly found corresponden t s to cover the girls games. Had I not complained those games would not have been covered at all. While that kind of influence is essential within the framework of media within the context of this res e arch project it is not appropriate It is imperative that the ernie values and perspective of editors and writers be respected and und erstood and th at situations and circumstance be allowed to take place without unnatural disruptions. 65


From an applied viewpoint I see my research incorporating some elements of action and advocacy anthropology. Both are value-explicit approaches with key concepts. Van Willigen (1993) cautions that anthropologists must learn the value orientation of research environments and should not initiate projects but instead point out alternatives In the example of my editor not assigning girls basketball playoff coverage his decision making reflected a value assigned to girls basketball. By arguing for girls' coverage I may have in fact initiated something rather than pointing out an alternative. Since I wasn't sure in many cases whether I crossed that line I decided that I would defer until after the fieldwork research project was complete Van Willigen wrote: "It is in the realm of values that the essence of action anthropology can be discovered. The value system that characterizes action anthropology is in part relativistic and situational. That is the realities of the situation affect value judgments up to certain limits The relevant values of a situation are those that are indigenous to it. This means that the action anthropologist must discover the value orientation of the community within which she works (Van Willigen 1993 : 60). Thirdly because my colleagues b e came informants during the internship period I was ethically bound to protect their identity and privacy and not abuse the researcher informant relationship During the course of conducting key informant interviews I became privy to sensitive and broader information and experiences that were told to me out of trust and willingness to help in this 66


research project. As Chambers (1985) warns this ethical relationship is not to be taken lightly. He wrote : "Information and knowledge about people represents a kind of power and the use of information is rarely neutral. To the extent that anthropological knowledge is useful, so is it subject to misuse" (Chambers 1985:217). There was also the issue of disclosure of sponsorship and purpose Van Willigen (1993) says this is a point of emphasis because individuals who are asked to give their consent must be made aware of sponsorship so they can best calculate their own interest in reference to the goals of the sponsoring organization(s) My colleagues were well aware of my interest and purpose and that the Applied Anthropology Program at the University of South Florida while not a financial sponsor was the administrative sponsor. Nonetheless I felt ethically bound to frequently remind informants of my purpose I prefaced each formal interview with a statement of my intent and purpose and interjected my role of anthropologist during informal gatherings and conversations so that my colleagues-informants would understand that every observable action and decision was subject to academic inquiry I will address their response in my conclusions Key Informants Key informant interviews were spread out over the course of the internship My key informants were chosen from among colleagues in sport media, local athletes coaches and administrators from my journalism resource lists. They were selected for a variety of reasons During my fieldwork the 67


Conservator employed nearly 60 fulland part-time workers in the sports department. There were no women in decis i on making pos i tions and only four who were employed full-time thus the small sample population made it easy to interview all four as key informants I also interviewed a Conservator female copy editor in the news department who is a former college newspaper sports editor and a female professional beat writer from another news organization as key informants I also drew information from female sports writers and editors and from interv i ews done for stories published i n the Conservator Male key informants were chosen from three groups of news workers those who were staunch opponents of gender equity in sports those who were indifferent and those who were advocates of the efforts There were no editors at the Conservator whom I could consider gender equity advocates so I i nterviewed m y former ed i tor who wo r ks for a competing news organizat i on and an editor from anot her news organization because they have what I co n sider progress iv e vi ews about news coverage of female athletes That is they believe there shou l d be more and better qual i ty c overage of female athletes and they in c orporate that belief into their decision making Conservator sports editors were either staunch opponents of gender equity or indifferent. I selected six Conservator male emp l oyees as key informants and used information drawn from countless conversations and news meeting discussions about female athletes I selected non news worker key informants from a pool of coaches fathers of female ath l etes and administrators in th e Conservator's coverage area Often times 68


some of the most vocal advocates of gender equity are men who coach female athletes and the fathers of those athletes. They are valuable resources because their experiences broaden gender equity discussions beyond male-female boundaries. I selected three male basketball coaches and a father of a local athlete as key informants because of their involvement in and knowledge of sports gender equity issues. Some of the formal interviews were done by telephone because it wasn 't practical for some informants to meet me in person The formal interviews done in person usually occurred over lunch in a social setting away from the office This helped to protect the ide ntity of the informant and the privacy of the interview. Other in-person formal interviews were done at my apartment or at the most convenient place for the informant. All formal interviews were taped and ranged in time from 30 to 90 minutes in l ength. I stated that no real names or places would be used in my research project. I started most interviews by asking informants to give me some background information Even though I had worked with many of the informants for several years there were things about their work and personal lives that I wasn t aware of Also by getting extra background information I was able to better contextualize some of the situations that I had questions about. In order to best get at information I initially divided my informants into two groups based up their views of gender equity in sport-those who opposed gender equity in sport and increased news coverage of female athletes and those who supported 69


the effort But during the interview process I found several key informants who fit into neither group Thus it was necessary to create a third group neutral. Once I was able to see where people were coming from, I was better able to delineate some of the social and political dynamics of the newsroom. For example during the beginning stages of my graduate work, it appeared that supporters of gender equity in sports and those opposed to it were divided by gender Females were for it ; males opposed it. Informal interviews revealed however that there were a number of profeminist males and a few traditional minded females. Key questions for members of sport media are : What sports do you find most enjoyable and why do you like them? This question should yield information about the enculturation of sport upon editors which affects their judgment or gaze of what sport should look like in our society Interviews with informant-colleagues lead me to believe that the answers to this question will parallel the current sport news coverage. This could be key evidence in assessing the current news gap because it can show that there is a relationship between sport news coverage and sport media interest. I think there is a male as athlete naturalization process within sport media that consciously and unconsciously excludes females from mainstream consideration Do you think the current news coverage reflects public interest and why? The answer to this question should reveal that sport media managers and editors believe they are earnestly supporting public 70


interest with the current sport news agenda. Thus the resistance to more gender equitable news coverage is justifiable within sport media and can preclude proactive efforts to increase news coverage How do you gauge the growth of female athletics and public interest? This question is designed to illicit information about the legitimacy of female athletics from within sport media I suspect sport media decision makers are unaware of the real growth of female ath l et i cs and the strugg l es of femal e ath l etes for opp o rtunity and recognition and simp l y do not see females as legitimate players in the American sport scene From female athletics key questions are : How are female athletes socialized and what kinds of play school and social experiences do they reflect by choosing to participate in sports? This question is designed to show the contrast between what male media managers pe r ce iv e of female athletics and what is really occurr i ng During i nterviews for my j ob girls often ta l k about the i r struggles to participate inferior equipment and facilities and the lack of attention from sport media. This question should illuminate how the opposing ecologies share l i tt l e informat i on about each other. Are female athletes encouraged dis c ouraged or unaffected by sport media news coverage and why? Th i s question w ill e li cit direc t answers about the current news gap in sport media. Initially i nterviews reveal a growing resentment and 7 1


cynicism among younger female athletes who are skill-wise on par with their male counterparts It appears that older athletes that is first generation Title IX athletes are more conservative in their critique of sport media Hopefully this question will address what I see as a radicalization of younger athletes by sport media Is your athletic e xp erience d i fferent from that of male athletes? If so how and why? This question is designed to get at some of the specific differences in the athletic e x pe rie nces of male and female ath lete s Female athletes see the kind of attention and economic support g ive n to male athletes However sport med i a managers are generally ignorant of many of the dispar iti es that e xi st between male and female ath l etic programs For example some univers i ties bus their football team and staff off campus to an out-of-town hotel on Friday nights before Saturday home games Estimates run as high as $8 000 each weekend for this l u x ury There are at le ast f i ve Saturday home games That money alone could fund a men s or women's minor sport such as rowing or tennis Do your experiences in athletics reflect any of your e x periences as a fema le i n non-athletic endeavors? Th i s question is designed to reveal any overlap that may exist between the trea t ment of females engaged in athletics and the treatment of females w i thin American society I suspect there is 72


a link between the status of females in society and the status of females within society This question may also address any resulting implications. Assessing Popular Images of Athletes My assumption is that disparate news coverage influences readers to think primarily of males when asked to recall popular or high profile athletes by name creating a psychological male familiarity To test this hypothesis I designed two free listing tasks ( Weller and Romney 1988) a recommended technique for isolating and defining cognitive familiarity or preference (domains) In this data collection I was interested to see if the cognitive recall of in formants would reflect the gender ratios presented in content analyses of actual news coverage The f i rst free list task was generated from the following question : In two minutes please list the names of any athletes you have come to know through the media This ta sk was given to 40 female athletes at a loca l high school girls all-star basketball tournament who might be expected to have female athletes as role models The second free listing task involved a two question format. First respondents were asked to l i st the names of any male athletes known to them through the media then the names of any female athletes known through t he med ia. Informants for the second free listing task came from both females and males in two high school social stud i es classes I pretested both free list i ng tasks on several non-sports department ConseNator employees and on several of my colleagues in sports In both cases the 73


informants thought the task was designed to test their recall about ath l etes in general. No one suspected the test had gender implications until we discussed i t at the completion of the task The methodologies used in this research project are designed to yield answers about why the current gender news gap in sport exists By exploring sport media news convent i ons and their tie to current social realit i es inf luenced by hegemonic gender roles contextual connections to our larger society can be made For this project to be successful a number of questions mus t be asked and answered From sport media gatekeepers will be scrutinized in an effort to see what social forces are tied to the production of sport news. The hypothes i s is that these forces are somehow structured to devalue women s athletics and discourage the development of women reporters and editors Th is scrutiny should revea l if there is a relationsh ip betwe en sports report i ng and the development of spe c tator interests For example I believe that there i s a connectio n between sport news coverage and how well editors and reporters understand and appreciate certain sports I also believe that the male view of sport is a ref lect ion of the male view of the role of females i n society Thus it allows the gap between the low news value of female athletes and high self enterta i nment value of male sport. I think the emic perspective revealed in oral histories and ethnographic interviews will produce insights about the socializa ti on of sport media members and the result i ng sport news judgment decision-making process 74


CHAPTER 4 WHERE I'M COMING FROM My duties as journalist were not detached from that of applied anthropologist during my internship fieldwork so my role of participant-observer involved as much participant as observer. Thus I feel it is necessary to state early on how my life experiences affect my views and judgment in this research project. Hargreaves (1986) suggests that there is a gender order in the managing and report ing of sport and asserts that there is no such thing as unbiased reporting All reporters of news have perspectives and life experiences that influence how they discern news events and reality Hargreaves says media professionals' claims of reporting impartially on reality by merely convey ing to the audience-what really happened-a doctrine of epistemological naturalism will not hold up to an examination of the media treatment of sport What sport media do according to Hargreaves is to construct a preferred view of the social world by na turalizing it. Yet he writes it is no more or no less natural than any other activity in which we indulge collectively-it is socially constructed Th is chapter looks at me the participant-observer who is simultaneously a journalist and gender equity advocate It is here that I contextualize my own 75


social construction and perceptions of sport and sport media By submitting background information and life experiences I formalize any predilections that determine my "gaze" or interpretation of sport news Autobiographical i n content this chapter describes where I m coming from while addressing ethical considerations and concerns for my colleaguei nformants Soc i al and Cultural Construct i on I was grew up in a large M i dwestern c i ty ten years before Title IX legislation mandated that females receive the same opportunities in sport as males My father worked two full-time jobs while my mother took primary responsibility for myself and my sib l ings I attended a large urban grammar school located approximately a mile and a half from my home I began to develop my athletic skills and understanding of sport in grammar school where I participated i n phys i cal educat i on class activit i es such as kic k ball basketball football, softball relay races and physical fitness competition. I also participated in late-morning recess physical activities such as Johnny Run Across where I excelled as one of the last people to be tagged out of competition However I believe the daily mile and-a-half walk to and from school set the tone for my athletic e x periences. There was also a round trip walk at noon for a one-hour l unch break By the time I was in fifth grade the lunchtime walk had turned into a jog One of my older school mates who was also from my neighborhood suggested that our group run the mile and a half in order to allow more t i me at home for lunch As I remin i s c e about that time of my childhood I m 7 6


reminded of the expression "You can't run with the big dogs if you pee like a puppy I really wanted to be part of my neighborhood peer social group Because so much of what we did socially was based on physical game playing and sport toeing-the-line athletically was important. The males who could not keep pace during the noontime lunch runs were seen as less athletic and subsequently the last picked in after school and weekend athletic events I think the pressure to be athletic at an early age was a good thing for me. It taught me the va l ue and benefit of being able to compete Boys who couldn't compete we re n't c hosen to p l ay or at l east not often by the most popular boys in the neighborhood who were also considered among the best athletes Those boys -the ones who could not compete faced a somewhat unpopular fate ; they didn t have any mentors among the older boys They could resign themselves to be i ng role players --fillins or substitutes in sport and games or they could forget about sport and become what is now known as a nerd It was a regular if not da i ly occurrence to hear another boy impetuo u sly say "Hey I'll race you from my house to the corner or "I bet I can out-wrestle you or "I bet I can throw the ball farther than you." Even though I was younger and smaller, I was allowed to "run with the big dogs" on many occasions while many of the boys in my immediate peer group we re not. Those moments were essential parts of my socialization process Those moments also gave me a great sense of pride and accomplishment. But they were earned I remember beating a neighbor boy 77


who challenged me in a short 30or 40-yard dash He was several years older and probably twice as strong The victory was a special moment because previously I had never mounted a serious athletic challenge to him in any endeavor. Afterward he remarked, "Hey, man, what did you eat today ; you're getting faster." His acknowledgment was tantamount to a letter of recommendation to the older boys These spur-of-the-moment challenges and confrontations helped establish neighborhood-group leadership roles and athletic h i erarchies that remained in place through high school when size strength and athletic skill differences evened out or lost salience As I entered my teenage years I could clearly see that athletic potential and prowess were beneficial. For example, during my freshman or sophomore year in high school I was in my school s locker room changing clothes after completing track practice Suddenly the locker room filled with a couple dozen older and rough-looking boys in black leather jackets They were part of the local affiliate of a youth gang During my high school years gang membersh i p rose steadily and conflicts like fistfights and shootings escalated and intensified The purpose of the locker room visit was a recruiting campaign While youth gang activity at that time was not at the accelerated levels it is now it still had I ife-and-death potential. There were probably twenty other boys in the locker room ; all of them except me were told to go with the boys in leather jackets w i llingly or not-into the gym for an initiat i on meeting I was not required to enlist because I was part of the school's elite athletes' corps At that time gang 78


members respected athletes because they represented the school and neighborhood against other boys in sport competition and there was a great deal of pride involved in the interscholastic competition. I passed through the gym on my way home. There were at least 2 000 teenage boys sitting in the bleachers or standing along the walls while gang leaders huddled in a conference in the middle of the gym. I later found out that the meeting was an attempt to consolidate various neighborhood gang factions into one large unit with the high school serving as the central meeting point. That moment in the locker room brought home the stark rea l ities that there were privileges and rewards associated with being a recognized athlete. That experience reinforced my resolve to play sports at the highest level possible It gave me motivation ; the same motivation that many boys get with the dream of playing professional sports where the privileges and rewards are their greatest. My experiences have shown me that there are sacrifices to make and dues to pay to get to the elite levels of sport in the United States I have witnessed this fascination with professional sport cause many boys to forfeit or neglect educational opportunities That neglect led to the arrested development of those who retain the dream long past their athletic prime. There are other consequences as well. For example Biddulph (1994) says that when coaches urge boys in contact sports to h i t and hurt as long as they can get away with it it sends the wrong message about what it is to be a human being As we l l he asserts adults involved in school sport oftentimes put too much pressure on 79


boys --for the honor of the school -who should be enjoying themselves "Sydney academic Dr Peter West believes that sport is one of the primary sources of shaping a defective masculine image-arrogant elitist violent unfeeling individualistic, competitive and less than fully human" (Biddulph 1994 : 143-144) Katz (1995) insists that sport can and should have a positive impact on young boys but like Biddulph is concerned about the prevailing standard "Young boys learn important lessons from sports about perseverance working hard to achieve goals and the value of collaboration and teamwork Unfortunately they also learn powerful lessons about male superiority" ( Katz 1995:1 02). Even if one argues for the dismissal of the hegemonic references in these examples one cannot so easily dismiss the binary gender markers which invariably lead to the hegemonic references In North America the most popular sports are those that require the most muscle i.e football (with its large players and big hits) baseball (with the power hitters and pitchers who can throw heat) not to mention hockey (where there is often as much fighting as skating ) and basketball (where power forwards and backboard shattering monster dunks dominate media attention) As one of my co lleagues says : I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. The same infa tuat ion with power drives the Amer ica n work-p lace and political arenas They too are decidedly male The co nte xtual relationships between sport and society are clear and unden iable An interview in Color Magazine with a female from Baracoa Cuba offers a cross-cultural 80


metaphoric example of the connections between social reality and sport "In Baracoa a lot of men beat women to show authority My husband was beating me sometimes even when he wasn t drunk -it became a sport ... I told my father, and he said I had to deal with it because married women have to put up with it. My mother said the same thing" (Matos et al 1996:38). Even though neighborhood girls seldom participated in our after school and weekend sporting events like running home for lunch there was a great deal of gender-neutral athleticism i n my youth That balance may have been a result of ethno-cultural norms that allowed females the opportunity to express themselves athletically without challenging their femininity Most of the time peer girls used their athletic energies jumping rope and occasionally entering footraces but when physically challenged or confronted by a boy of similar height and weight they often held their own and gave as good as they got. It wasn't unusual for a younger boy trying to impress the older boys or a girl that he liked to challenge a bigger stronger girl and get what we called "spanked" by that girl. That kind of embarrassment was a hard-learned lesson about the myth and reality of male superiority for some boys but one that I think is best learned early in life As a young boy I watched my aunts and older female cousins hit softballs farther than some of my uncles and older male cousins These women could bowl throw a football jump rope as well as any preteen girl and outrun all of the boys in my age group leaving any thought of escaping discipline by running 81


unthinkable The lesson here was that just because females didn't have the opportunity to participate in sports didn't mean they didn't have any athletic ability. Ironically when I watched television as a child I always saw females being protected by males. For instance John Wayne or another tough-guy type character was always coming to the aid of a helpless female who stood around and watched him fight for her while she screamed in the background Those scenes were a contradiction to my immediate reality Unquestionably my reality was not reflected in the popular era television shows like Father Knows Best or Leave It to Beaver, where fathers provided most of the wisdom and family discipline and decisions As Kochman states : "Clea r ly the notion that American society is culturally pluralistic is an important one if it merely acknowledges that people of different groups have different cultural patterns and perspectives" (Ko c hman : 1981, 6 2 ) Since my father worked two jobs for nearly twenty years most during my youth it was my mother who introduced me to sport as a spectator and participant. She chauffeur e d m e to and from events networked with coa c hes provided feedba c k and criticism and purchas e d my required athletic equipment. My father-son sp o rt relationship involved watching a few Friday night bo x ing mat c hes on television but we never discussed sports in detail and I don't think he ever saw me play I think my father was generally uninterested in sport Years before I became involved in sport journalism he told me a story about attending his first basketball gam e H e was an adult at the time and went to the game as 82


part of a date Since he d i dn't know anything about the sport he was relegated to standing and cheering when he saw other people doing it. I found that story funny and enlightening because it allowed me to see masculinity outside of the context of sport early in my life I entered daily journalism with the understanding that media had been biased either intentionally or unintentionally in its coverage of people of color and events surrounding them I believe that bias is a product of unfamiliarity more than a concerted attempt to rob people of the truthfulness that determines who they are or are not. This understanding was cemented into my conscience during a 12-week journalism internship I took part i n twelve years ago The internship at the Robert C Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Oakland California, brought together 12 journalists-Asian-American Latino and Afr ica n-American for an intensive training and preparation course des i gned to combat this bias by placing minority journalists in previously all white newsrooms to create fam i liarity that would subsequently ease skin color anxiety and foster better diversity in news coverage. Some of the best and brightest minority journalist and editors in the United States were brought in to teach It has been by far the richest and most fulfilling experien ce I have had as a journalist. One the Maynard s thoughts remains with me : This county cannot be the country we want it to be if its story is told by only one group of citizens Our goal is to give all Americans front-door access to the truth However I did not enter daily journalism with the same understanding 83


about gender bias. I was aware of gender bias because I witnessed it. I witnessed African-American females endure double societal burdens from skin color and gender But like what happens all too often in our society, bias by the concept of race supercedes that of gender For example while in co llege my girlfriend and I enjoyed Friday night dates playing one-on-one basketball in the school gymnasium. For me it was a perfect setting for a date because it was cheap-free in this case and the gymnasium was virtually empty. I won most of the games but it was not through superior talent. I was simply bigger and stronger Though my girlfriend la cked formal basketball training she was quick cunning and made up for height and weight differences with sheer aggressiveness and determination When there was a loose ball on the floor, she was frequently the first to get to it. And if I lost focus while dribbling she would force a t urno ver She was as competitive and aggressive as any male I knew Unfortunately my girlfriend was an adult when Title IX was passed in 1972 Had she been given the opportunity to learn and practice the skills necessary to play basketball I have no doubt she would have been an o utstand i ng player During my high school years there were a number of athletic females who were part of the school's track team cheer club They came to all of the boys' track meets and were among our biggest supporters Yet during the week they rode public transportation for an hour to a city-sponsored track club practice for girls because no high school had a girls track team At the time the 84


arrangement seemed normal. There were no other experiences or paradigms for me to compare it to After see i ng a photograph in one of my high school yearbooks of an alumna who participated i n track in the Olympics I remember asking why the girls had no track team No one offered an answer It was just the way it was In the introduction to Ain't I a Woman hooks (1981) asserts that racist and sexist socialization has conditioned us i ncluding black males to devalue femaleness and to regard race as the only relevant label of identification In other words she wrote black females have been asked to deny a part of themselves and they have Hooks says this kind of th inking is another indication of the way in which the pervasive concern black people have about racism allows them to conveniently ignore the reality of sexist oppression From the beg i nning of their life in America hooks says black women were victims of de-humanizing racism from whites and sexism from white and black males Perpetrators Bystanders and Rebe ls Sabo and Jansen ( 1992) suggest the dominant narrative structures in sport media co nstruct and valorize hegemonic masculinity as natural. In the process other forms and expressions of non-hegemonic models of masculinity are marginal ized. The authors state : "In the late 1970s a feminist critique of sport emerged : It viewed sport as a fundamentally sexist inst i tution that is male dominated and masculine in orientation Feminist analyses exam i ned sex d i fferences i n patterns of athletic socialization and aimed at demonstrating how 85


sport as a social institution naturalizes men's power and privilege over women" ( Sabo and Jansen 1992:171) Sabo and Jansen (1992) citing the research of Connell use the term gender order to refer to h istorically constructed patterns of power relations between men and women and definitions of femininity and masculinity that emerge within this structural context. At the Women 's Sports Foundation Summit in Chicago in Ma y 1997 Sabo a sociologist introduced me to his theoretical model of men in sport media He asserts that the model can fit the genera l population as well but has a particularly poignant application to sport media. The model proposes that men in sport media fall into one of three categories : perpetrators bystanders and rebels That is men who support sexism and gender bias in sport men who may feel uneasy about sexism in sport but for whatever reasons do nothing about it and men who are feminists and take proactive steps to point out sexism and try to do something about it. I entered sport media as a bystander at a small afternoon newspaper 30 000 circulationin the Southwest ca lled the Sun where I worked for 27 months I was part of a two-person department my editor and myself My editor was a female some 10 years my junior who had attended college on a swimming scholarship During our init i al meeting she stated that she felt sport news needed to be more inclusive of female athletes and that incl usion would be part of her department policy I saw no reason to disagree though I didn't leave the meeting with a burning desire to cover female sporting events I did leave the 86


meeting eager to cover professional football and basketball. My editor didn't care for professional sports and told me that I could cover the professional teams in our area as part of the paper s sports coverage My first encounter with female athletes came during my first assignment at the Sun It was a cross country meet in a hilly desert park Despite my editor's admonitions I wore the standard dress pants and a shirt and tie to the event expecting to find a large tree that would provide an area of shade There were few large trees and the temperature was near 11 0 degrees I arrived at the meet several minutes before the girls competition started Fifty or so girls from five area schools were on the starting line staring down the course They seemed unaffected and unfazed by the heat. It was my first time attending a cross country meet with female participants. The i r movements comportment and demeanor were all recognizable from my e x periences watching male cross country runners in high school and college During the next two and a half years I recognized that male and female athletes are more similar than dissimilar and that they share a number of common tra i ts : The best are usua l ly among the most talented the most successful are usually the hardest workers and talent and success are not necessarily synonymous I began to make the transition from bystander to rebel the day I started at the Sun The daily editing the daily news discussions and subsequent news judgments were aimed at incorporating female athletes into the proverbial"fold Staff discussions about news coverage were based upon "who was hot and 87


"who was not." Newsworthiness was based upon who was interesting from a newsworthy perspective Game coverage decisions were based primarily but not exclusively upon winning and losing Gender was a non-factor During the fall I covered local high school football games every Friday night and went to volleyball matches and cross-country meets through the week In the winter I covered wrestling girls and boys' basketball and in the spring I was assigned to cover boys and girls track and f i eld meets baseball and softball tennis, golf and swimming Football dominated our fall coverage especially on the weekends because two local high school teams were among the top schools in the state Sundays were spent covering the local National Football League team During the winter basketball got the most attention because of its popularity and consecutive state championships by one of the local teams -a girls team Wrestl i ng also received considerable attention because one of the local schools was a perennial state power I went to home games of the local National Basketball Association team when they did not conflict with high school games In the spring baseball and softball dominated news coverage One of the local softball teams won consecutive state titles and played a local rival for the state championship one year One of the local baseball teams won a state t i tle and another local team was among the state finalists. My transition from bystander to rebel took a decided turn one Saturday morning at 5 a .m. while working at the Sun I was assigned to cover a professional triathlon competition. In the desert areas of the Southwest the heat 88

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arrives around 8 a m and becomes a health threat by noon Thus any extended athletic events are best held in the early morning or in the evening. In professional triathlons women and men swim bike and run the same distances and there is parity in the prize money At this event a tour stop on the triathlon circuit there were clear men's and women s point leaders. I joined several of my colleagues in the media truck that followed the bike and running segments We traded knowledge about the competitors, shared statistics gleaned from media releases and public relations personnel and jotted down notes from our observations. The men's point leader ran away from the field and extended his point total. However in the women's competition the point leader was upset in the competition and lost the point leadership to an upstart competitor My Robert C Maynard Institute for Journalism Education-instilled news judgment told me that the news of the day was the point leadersh i p change Ex c itement filled the media tent when the new point leader arrived for post-race interviews The new point leader was asked about her race strategy training philosophy and anything else that reporters felt relevant to her upset victory The forme r point leader was asked about her conditioning the conditions on the co urse and other quest i ons that might give some indication of why she lost. The i nterview with the men's point leader was routine Since he ran away from the field tantamount to a blowout in team sport the element of intense competition was lacking from the race and interview I wrote my story later that afternoon My lead paragraphs focused on the two winners. I then focused on the point 89

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leadership change and closed out the story with the news of the run away The following morning I received one of the biggest shocks of my journalism career My colleagues dedicated nearly 90 percent of their copy to the run-away in the men's competition. The women's competition received the last paragraphs When I saw those writers again I asked them why they structured their stories in that manner They looked at me as if my question had been asked in a foreign language Iron ic ally my quest i ons had no gender implications or at least none was the impetus for asking As an inexperienced reporter I wanted to know how they judged news Their s ile nce led me to suspect the issue was gender My transition from bystander to rebel piqued at that moment. I felt that the female athlete deserved better treatment from my colleagues in sport media. I felt that we as news reporters had misjudged the news value of the event. Dur i ng the balance of my tenure at the Sun I began to look closely at the way media approached news coverage of female athletes I ta l ked w i th my editor at le ngth about her experiences as an athlete and sports writer and used every opportunity available to talk to high school and college-aged female athletes about their experiences I wanted to know how they felt. I realized I had some catching up to do. My experiences as an African American male made me sensitive to discrimination and bias of any kind. I know what it is like to be excluded from something through no fau l t of my own For e x ample dur i ng the summer vacation between my sophomore and j unior years in college I dec i ded to live off campus My parents bought me a car and with their permission I 90

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sought out off-campus hous i ng when I returned to school in the fall. As part of my search I made da ily visits to the university-run housing ass ist ance office Each day I would get leads on available university-approved housing locations cost size etc. It became a real chore after several weeks because I was living in several different places day to-day and sometimes slept in my car One morning I received a call from the d i rector of the housing assistance off i ce who told me he had just received a new listing that was within my price and comfort needs. He sounded very e xc ited I think my persistence began to wear at his patience and he told me to hurry to h is office so he could take me and another male also an African American, to visit the new lo cation As we drove to the location the director told us he felt this was our lu cky day because he had been thinking about us when a woman called to say she had several rooms in her home ava ilable for students to rent. We arr ive d at the home within five minutes We walked to the door rang the door bell and waited in anticipation A woman who appeared to be in her late 60s or early 70s opened the door The hous i ng director greeted her introduced himself then myself and the other young man. I was only 1 9 years old but my life experiences told me that th e look on this woman's face meant she was not going to offer th e rooms to us It was in her eyes I made a silent bet with myse lf Amazing to me then was how the director did no t pick up on it. He forged on ask i ng questions about deposits rental agreements rules and regulations He then asked the woman to s h ow us the rooms To my surpr i se she did all the while never losing that initial 91

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look of anxiety on her face Then the decisive moment arrived. The director asked us how we li ked the place We politely responded "It s very n i ce He then turned to the woman to get her approval of us The next moment could not come quick enough. I was about to win my bet. The woman did not speak She just looked at us She didn't know what to say I almost felt sorry for her In order to be on the university's approved housing list she could not openly discriminate The director naively asked again Ma 'am what do you th i nk of these boys?" She responded : "Sir my son just ca lled and said he was coming home and would need a place to stay I need to save the rooms for him." Great line lady I said to myself Th e housing director was stunned "Ma'am you just called me 30 minutes ago and told me the rooms were for rent. I have called these young men and interrupted their schedules so they could come over here and see your place When your son ca lled you why didn't you call me back?" Again there was silence Yet it was in her eyes They could not lie and the housing d i rector finally sensed the woman s anxiety "Ma'am is there something wrong?" he asked "Is there something wrong with these boys?" En fin she spoke from the heart "I'm sure these are nice boys but you see, my neighbors and ... "the housing director sternly interrupted her Ma 'am are you saying you will not rent to these boys? Is that what you are saying?" The woman never said another word The director thoroughl y scolded her about her attitude and told her he would not list her home among university-approved housing Dur ing the ride back to campus the director apologized to us at least 20 times 92

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He was genuinely hurt and embarrassed. I wasn't. In truthfulness, I really did not like the woman's home and neither did the other young man but we knew better than to say so. The woman actually did us a favor by rejecting us How could we tell the housing director we did not like the rooms when he was trying so hard to help us? A week or so later the director found a place where I lived for the next two years None theless, the experience made me keen ly aware of discrimination and it will always remain a part of me. And just as the director of the housing assistance office spoke out against discrimination and did something about an obvious injustice so too must I. I arrived at The Daily ConseNator as a copy editor. My duties for nearly two years included page design and layout headline writing and copy editing. During this period I noticed that the majority of the stories that appeared in the main sports section were about male athletes Oftentimes several days would go by without a photograph of a female athlete appearing in the main sports section The neighborhood sports sections where high school sports were run had considerably more stor i es about female athletes but males athletes still dominated the daily coverage My advocacy role began to take form during my third year when my duties were switched from copy editor to writer and I was assigned girls sports as a beat and I began to get negative feedback and indifference from editors when I proposed feature and profiles story ideas involving female athletes Only one feature story that I have written to document the accomplishments of fema l e athletes has been published in the sports 93

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section The others unwelcome i n sports, have been welcomed by The Daily Conservator s features department which is dominated by females On each occasion sports department editors said the stories were either too long or there was no space for it or didn't fit the sport news paradigm During this period I also began to get feedback from male coaches of female athletes who were looking for an empathetic contact in sport media These men had been radicalized through their experiences of coaching female athletes Many sa i d the y witnessed firsthand not only how sport media had shortchanged the athletes they coached but also how school, cou nty and state athletic association administrators routinely gave male athletes and their coaches preferences in funding for equipment transportation uniforms and fa cilit ies preferences in practice and game times and generally greater overall support They said that for the first time in their lives they understood the effects and s ignificance of gender discrimination and inequality These coaches provided detailed and sometimes impassioned accounts of how they were looked down upon by their peers who coached male athletes and they urged me to document the inequ i ties that their players faced and take a proactive role in writing about female athletes. During formal interviews and informal conversations with these coaches I listened to their stories and learned about their hardships and struggles They had a profound i nfluence upon my news judgment and their views contributed to the format i on of the applied aspects of this project. Their experiences helped instruct my understand ing of my research 94

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problem That is while gender appears to be the primary point of impediment in athletics for females the underlying issue is one of power control and economics By framing my research within the context of these underlying issues the process of understanding media is more thorough Insensitivity and Isolation I would be rem i ss if I didn't conclude this chap t er w ith some ref l ections about my e x periences as the only minority journalist in the sports department at The Daily Conservator. Much the way Fulwood (1996) describes one of his experiences as a minority journalistdur i ng a job interview he was asked by a white editor if he was a black first or a reporter first-my e x periences include a number of blatantly racist and insensitive encounters with white male colleges While gender sport and media is the focus of my research and my area of e x pertise as a researcher and journalist the issue of ethnicity and sk i n color has been an ever -current source of vexation and frustration My e x periences at The Daily Conservator lead me to believe there are clear and unquestionable l i nks between r acism and sex ism Most sports departments are dominated by males white males Some newspapers have never had a female or ethnic minority employee in their sports departments Several years later I met a female copy editor who once worked for the Conservator She to l d me her e x periences a t the newspaper were racked with so much se x ism and racism that she no longer includes the Conservator on her resume hoping never to have to revisit that per i od of her life again 95

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According to Thomas (1995) who cites statistics from the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists there are only 300 blacks working as print journalists in sports departments in the nation's 1 600 daily newspapers The statistics include writers copy editors and editors My first editor at the ConseNator was a black male who left 15 months later to join the local rival newspaper the Progressor As I muse over the Sports Task Force statistics I realize that I may have been one of a handful of sports writers in the United States who worked for a black editor After his departure I was the only full-time minority employee in The Daily ConseNator's sports department for the next four years including the time of my internship. While I have tried to forge new ground as the office gender equity in sport expert, I simultaneously became i ncreasingly annoyed with some of my colleague's racial i ntolerance and insensitivity Thomas (1995) recounts the h istory of Wendell Smit h the first black sports writer to have a byline in a major white-owned daily newspaper He wrote that Smith who died in 1972 would be appalled about the lack of black journalists in the press box today because 79% of the players in the National Basketball Associat io n and 65% of the players in the National Football League are black. "In 1994 47 years after Smith's breakthrough only 1 black beat reporter covered a Major League Baseball team-Brad Turner of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported on the Los Angeles Dodgers -compared with 268 beat reporters listed in Major League Baseball's media guides Just three 96

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other black reporters covered baseball on a national basis" (Thomas 1995 : 213) Thomas who introduced me to sports writing 10 years ago during a journalism internship says the lack of racially balanced perspectives from white journalists have degraded black athletes while having an impact on or influencing the quality of sports reporting both in print and broadcast. As he charges in his analysis I too, can 't express how many times I have read or heard white journalists refer to white athletes as intelligent while referring to black athletes as naturally ta l ented It's similar to the biological argument used to describe female athletes as less feminine than non athletic females. But it was reading about Newsday's Leon Carter and Turner s encounters with insensitive white colleagues that reminded me of the lingering discomfort and isolation that I have experienced while working at The Daily Conservator "In general it's been good Turner said about his relationship with the five other reporters who travel with the Dodgers But the bad times often have been annoying and sometimes downright insulting" (Thomas 1995 : 215) For the most part my relationship with my colleagues too has been good In fact several of my colleagues are among the finest human being I have ever met. But like Turner I cannot forget the bad times prompted by the racially degrading and stereotypical comments by some of my colleagues Interestingly two of my colleagues one a black male the other a white female who have volunteered to be informants for this project have bonded in friendship because they both have experienced the racism and sexism from colleagues that isolates women and 97

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minorities Thomas writes that during Turner's first year of covering Major League Baseball he had to rebel against his press-box colleagues' insensitivity "To his amusement he also found that he had become the press corps' designated expert in black slang. For instance Deline DeShields a black player whom the Dodgers had acquired from Montreal during the off-season had told some white reporters that he looked forward to playing in Los Angeles because he would get more "props" from the increased coverage What does Deshields mean by props? white reporters asked Turner 'He'll get more respect when he gets to L .A., Turner explained. But a few days later when the reporters asked Turner a similar question he told them 'I m not going to be your ethnic translator"' (Thomas 1995: 216) My employment at The Daily ConseNator is checkered with incidents like this For example, each fall th e ConseNator covered the annual football game between two of the state s historically black colleges I attended n e ith e r school. During my f i rst year one of my colleagues who was upset that he was given the assignment approached me and said : "I've gotta cover you guys game! I hope you appreciate it." At first I didn't know what he meant. I attended Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Illinois-Chicago doesn't have a football team and Western Illinois doesn't play games in this part of the country. When I realized the comment had skin color implications I asked for a "you guys game" explanation. The writer just looked at me as if to say Should an explanation be necessary?" 98

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When I told the executive sports editor about the comment he told me to confront the reporter and resolve the inc i dent myself It's the same reaction I ve received when I've asked about a policy or incident that had gender implications That incident and subsequent ones began to radicalize my thinking about gender masculinity and media I find that most of the Conservator's sports editors are either uncomfortable or resistant when it comes to confronting issues of ethnicity and gender S ince minorities and women are relatively new additions to many sports departments across the nation matters and concerns associated with rac ism and sex i sm are not well deve l oped Coupled with the fact that traditional masculinity-bound paradigms of operating are oftentimes difficult to revise I suspect significant change will not come without significant resistance During my first year at the Conservator I had a long talk with a senior sports ed i tor a legend of sorts at the paper about the history of the paper He told me that as recently as ten years ear lier he was told by senior management that under no circumstance would black athletes be allowed on the front page of the sports section There are two i nciden ces that stand out in my memory more than others The first is much like that where Brad Turner needed to admonish his colleagues that he was not an ethnic translator The Conservator s golf writer had written a story about a young golfer who mak ing a name for h i mself on the elite golf scene H is name is Tiger Woods who at the time was a 19-year old college student at Stanford After the story was written an assignment editor asked me 99

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to read the story for sensitivity." I asked sensitivity to what? The editor said he wanted to make sure that the black commun i ty would not be offended by anything in the article. I explained to the editor that I wasn t comfortable or qualified to pass judgment on a news story on behalf of any community I also reminded the editor that while Woods and I shared skin color similarities we had little else in common I have never played golf knew nothing of his life had never been to Stanford and the twenty-five year age difference put us i n different generations Notwithstanding the general isolation of working in the department I now was ostracized for being uncooperative Yet when I asked colleagues to place themselves in my situationplease read this article because I am writing about someone white and need you to check it for sensitivity so I won t offend the white community-most said they didn t think is was necessary or appropriate The other incident involved a colleague s attempt to replicate humor from a television program The morning of the i ncident I was having a discussion with the department's boxing writer when another colleague interrupted and said Walter I gotta tell you this funny story I heard last night, he said Last night I was watching this show about Muhammad Ali who was in a barber shop and somebody said to him if you were fighting today Mike Tyson would kick your ass Muhammad turned to the man and said ah nigger shut up." The colleague then laughed almost uncontrollably for a moment. I was stunned The box i ng writer was stunned I must have had an obvious d i sagreeable look on my face 100

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because my funny-story-telling colleague stopped laughing and sa i d : What's wrong It was funny It was really funny." I tried to ignore the colleague for the remainder of the morning An hour or so latter he approached me and said Walter I thought we were friends I didn t mean any harm, it was just a funny story ." I tried to explain to him why the story was inappropriate To this day I doubt that he fully understands why. Interestingly I've heard a number of my colleagues refer to casual acquaintance blacks including the athletes they write about, as friends They don t seem to understand the d i fference between be i ng friendly and being friends I don t th i nk the standard is the same for other whites that they meet. All of my colleagues are fr i endly I can call only a few friends Summary In summation I am convinced that socialized notions of masculinity and rac ism give some men in sport media a limited way of viewing society and the world That limited v i ew affects the way they v i ew news and women involved in athletics The men who determine pol i cy in The Daily Conservator s sports department are probably no better or worse on issues of gender than their colleagues across the nation This research is not intended to humiliate or harm any of my informant-colleagues thus no real names places or references wil l be used And I constantly reminded myself and my informants that my role as advocate was secondary to my role as researcher As Chambers ( 1985) warns this ethical relationship is not to be taken lightly . "Information and knowledge about people represents a kind of power and the use of information is rarely 101

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neutral. To the extent that anthropological knowledge is useful so is it subject to misuse" (Chambers 1985 : 217) My intent is to show that the media-source relationship between sport media and female athletes is being significantly and adversely affected by the perspectives of some men in sport media. 102

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CHAPTER 5 HISTORY Boys and girls are socialized to play differently. And by playing games differently boys and girls are socialized in sport differently A study by Bohren and Vlaho v (1986) supports this contention Initially the study set out to loo k at differences in play habits of urban and rural schoolchildren without a particular interest i n gender. The y tested 641 children for motor-skill development and found that 4-year-old girls excelled at locomotor skills such as skipping jumping hopping and leaping while boys did well at manipulative (object control) skills such as throwing catching kicking striking or bouncing a ball. The authors observe that at age 4 there are no major size or strength differences between boys and girls and hypothesize that parents must be socializing children's play habits differently Not discounting biological factors and differences the study suggests that boys' accelerated motor skill development for sports such as soccer baseball football and basketball which require competency in throwing catching kicking striking or bouncing a ball may stem partly from culturally presc ribed play habits Histor ia ns agree that females have been involved in various forms of sport for a long t ime Hei nermann (1993) observes that there always has been a 103

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relationship between the way people liv e their lives and the way they approach sport For examp l e Gardiner (191 0 ) wrote that Greek city-states posed an i ntriguing dual ideal of fertility and femininity Thus the girls and women of Sparta had an obligation to prepare to bear strong offspring Greek society considered physical fitness a sacred obligation for the defense of the state Toward that end girls as well as boys daily practiced calisthenics sports and other strenuous physical activity Guttmann ( 1991) posits that training and sports were closely re l ated to the man s role in warfare He agrees that the physical training and sports asso ci ated by the ancients w ith women s role in human reproduction is equally true but states that other roles in sport are much less frequently recognized in scholarly literature Sabo (1995) suggests that the institution of sport was c onstituted from its incept io n as an exclusive and e x clusionary arena of male experience Sabo writes : Sports studies' blind spot concerning the fundamental relationship between sport and the social construction of gender resulted in a v ery i ncomplete sometimes distorted ana ly sis of the histor i cal and contemporary meaning and significance of sport" (Sabo 1995 :171 ). Anthropological evidence supports the contention and suggests that hierarchical models in sport are directly related to differential se x status modeled after human hierarchy Lipman Biumen ( 19 76) says thes e hierarch i es emerged from a se xual div ision of la bor that has given males control of a disproportionate amount of resources This o ve r-pr ivi lege of resource usage c an be seen i n domains such as politi c s 104

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economics and education as well as sport. Gruneau (1975) stresses the point "Hierarchy, as a concept, is a cornerstone of the sporting ethos. Thus, the traits of strength, aggression competitiveness and leadership capabilities can be played, practiced and displayed in the athletic area as an exercise of symbolic power where strategy chance and skill merit a difference" (Gruneau (1975 : 129). Naturalized Superiority The Victorian period tended to reinforce male superiority as biologically determined rather than socially constructed As well economics had substantial influence in reinforcing a sexual division of labor ostensibly grounded in biological superiority. Hargreaves (1993) writes that the Victorian family may have been a reality for the affluent middle classes but it was an impossibility for the majority of working-class families who depended not only on the wife's wage labor to finance the home but also in some cases on the labor of children as well Nonetheless, Hargreaves wrote in the public image the woman's work role always was secondary to her role within the family which constituted the Victorian ideal of the sexual division of labor. The author states : "The assumption that this was the 'natural order of things was underpinned by an implicit belief that the differences between men and women were biologically determined and hence immutable .... This was an integral element of the rhetoric of Social Darwinism It incorporated the medical case for women's physical inferiority which was employed to justify 'maternity' as the 'highest function' of womanhood -essential to the healthy progress of the nation" 105

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(Hargreaves 1993:72) Hargreaves suggests that the extent to which this vision of family life was a reality is less significant than the way in which it was elevated as a concept that permeated social consciousness She says that the early years of women's sport were burdened with the ideological legitimation that confined women to such sport activities as croquet tennis and spectating at the races Snyder and Spreitzer (1983) too conclude that the role of women in modern sport reflects the role of women in society which they trace to the late 1800s Sex roles they state in most societies are specific and well-defined However the cultural prescriptions assoc iated with gender will vary from group to group and from time to time The authors state that in Western society the attitudes and ideals regard i ng the woman's role in family and other social institutions including sport, that emerged during the Victorian era in the late 1800s were consistent and distinctive The Victorian ideals were vividly expressed in the views of Pierre de Coubertin founder of the modern Olympics which initially did not include women competitors De Coubertin wrote: Respect of individual liberty requires that one should not inte rfere in private acts ... but in public competitions, [women's] participation must be absolutely prohibited It is indecent that the spectators should be exposed to the risk of seeing the body of a woman being smashed before the i r eyes Bes ides no matter how toughened a sportswoman may be her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks Her nerves rule her muscles nature wanted it that way. Finally the egalitarian discipline that is brought to bear on the male contenders for the good order and good appearance of the meeting risks being affected and rendered inapplicable by female participation For all these practical reasons as well as sentimental ones it is extremely des i rable that a drasti c rule be 106

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established very soon" (Gerber 197 4:137 in Snyder and Spreitzer 1983 : 156) Despite de Coubertin's strong opposition to women participating in Olympic compet i tion they were officially included in competition in the early 1900s Still Snyder and Spreitzer point out socially constructed definitions prescribed and limited the range of athletic participation for g i rls and women Today the tenets of the Victorian ideal of femininity (Snyder and Spreitzer 1983 ) continue to reflect designated "sex appropriate" sports for females Sports such as wrestling judo boxing weightlifting hammer throw pole vault longdistance races and high hurdles are considered unacceptable or inappropriate for females Snyder and Spreitzer list generally acceptable forms of competition for females as swimming diving skiing figure skating gymnastics go l f archery fencing, badminton squash tenn is volleyball and bowling These sports they say are acc eptable because they involve projection of the body through space in aesthetically pleasing patterns utilization of a manufactured device to facilitate bodily movement application of force through a light implement overcoming the resistance of a light object and maintenance of a spat i al barrier that prevents body contact with the opponent. The authors state that patriarchal socially-constructed constraints on female athletes center on the perceptions that women engaged in sport invoked contradictory role expectations that are contrary to the Victorian ideal. During that period as in a number of those preceding it it was felt that athletics would take a woman out of the home to engage i n vigorous a c t i v i ty and place her in a situation where modesty m ight be 107

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compromised where emotional control might be jeopardized, and where overall propriety could be endangered. "It was also feared that attracting a mate and childbearing could be hindered or prevented by injuries to the face and reproductive organs resulting from sport accidents" (Snyder and Spreitzer 1983:155). Despite continuous exclusion from mainstream sport females asserted themselves in athletic competition throughout the Industrial Age and beyond Nelson (1994) wrote that women have faced a continuing alienation from sport throughout this century Despite early efforts in the United States to exclude and ignore female athletes many did manage to participate. For example, in 1876 Nell Saunders defeated Rose Harland (Nelson, 1994) in the first U .S. women's boxing match The first women's intercollegiate basketball game was played April 4 1896 the same month the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens Greece Modern Pioneers In the book Facts & Dates of American Sports (Carruth and Ehrlich 1988) only 31 of the 222 athletes listed are females The absence of female athletes in the historical record may be best illustrated with the career of Mildred Ella Didrikson born in Port Arthur Texas, on June 26 1914 and better known as The Babe. During her athletic career (Hicks 1993) Didrikson excelled in running swimming javelin throwing diving high jumping, hurdling baseball boxing rifle shooting horseback riding and billiards. '" She can throw a baseball 108

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315 feet ,' Tony Cordaro of the Des Moines Tribune wrote which is on a par with any of the good outfielders'" (Hicks 1993 : 40) For more than a quarter of a century Didrikson dominated the women s sport world Hicks states that there is no question that Didrikson has the most magnificent sports record to be compiled by any woman who has ever lived Hicks wrote about one of the phenomenal achievements of "The Babe." It was at Dyche Stadium in Evanston Illinois, in the summer of 1932 that some of the most prophetic cheers ever to echo into sports history built goose bumps on an 18-year old girl. And those roars continued to reverberate through 23 more years of athletic dominance. Dyche Stadium was the site of both the 1932 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) women s track and field championships and the trials for the Olympic Games to be held that summer in Los Angeles During the opening ceremonies team after team was introduced groups of 15 to 22 women sprinting out into the center of the jammed arena. Finally the team from Employers Casualty Insurance Company out of Dallas was announced. Out of the tunnel there whooped one skinny kid waving her arms as though to create more of her and growing goose-bumpy from the crowd s roar. She was entered in every event except two sprints. Two and a half hours later Dallas s one woman squad had won that AAU championship singl e -handed Of the eight events she entered she won five tied a sixth and placed in a seventh Her individual total of 30 points was almost double that racked up the 22 members of th e se co nd-place team the Illinois Athletic Club who had a 16point total (Hicks 1993 : 38). Toth(1996) writes that despite the remarkable achievements of a number of female competitors it is always a he who is celebrated For example much has been written about the inventor of modern basketball James Naismith who is celebrated as the father of the sport invented in 1891 But little is written about Senda Berenson of Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts and Clara Gregory Baer of Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans who introduced the 109

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game to women in 1892 In 1924, some 25 years before the LPGA was established, golfer Glenna Collett Vare won 59 out of 60 matches yet when golfing greats are mentioned, her name is not. The name Eleanora Sears wouldn t ring a bell for most sports writers yet she was one of the most remarkable athletes of the 20th century with a family tie to a historical figure in American politics. Paul wrote: The great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson she was born into a wealthy Boston family in 1881. At a time when croquet was considered the most appropriate sport for women Sears was riding horses in steeplechases and hunting meets driving automobiles and daring men to race her (though none are known to have accepted the challenge) sailing and racing yachts canoeing swimming long distances skating and playing golf tennis baseball football hockey, squash and polo. She was one of the first women to fly in an airplane was a crack pistol and rifle shot and was a horse enthusiast until her death in 1968 at the age of 86" (Paul 1993:31 ). Sears shocked not only men but women too According to Paul (1993) a California Mother s Club passed a resolution against her conduct in 1912 aft e r she appeared on a polo pony in men s riding breeches making her a national celebrity. Despite winning 240 trophies during her amateur sports career of approximately 7 0 years her name is not recognizable to sports enthusiasts One of the most heralded femal e athletes of this century is tennis player Billie Jean King At the time King start e d playing professional tennis women were earning one-tenth the pri z e money awarded to their male counterparts. In 1973 before th e largest televison audience in the history of tennis King defeated Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match She earned 110

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$100 000 Paul (1993) points out that King led the fight for prize parity in tennis when she initiated a women s boycott of a 1970 tournament. At the time men were earning eight times the prize money as women Paul wrote : King eventually achieved near equality in future tournament winnings of women and men Because of her daring crusade women tennis players have a favored financial position today over all other sportswomen (Paul 1993 : 35) In today s American culture men define their masculin i ty through sports It is a male domain But in recent years this exclusive domain has been challenged by female athletes seeking equal participation rights and commensurate rewards The effort has been met with resistance from men and women who continue to criticize the female athlete's image as unfeminine. In an attempt to explain the differential access to sport participation Blanchard and Cheska (1985) claim that women are perceived to be different from men both biologically and social ly which has led to culturally defi ned gender roles in sports Sports by their structure are hierarchical and have functioned mainly in male domains And Blanchard and Cheska assert women's sport participation is a social anomaly Bale (1989) and Nelson (1994) agree that culture rather than biology has impeded participation by women in many sports Title IX Prior to 1972 females were limited to recreational play days and playground activities while males enjoyed and reaped the benefits of organized interscholastic and intercollegiate sports Guttmann (1991) says play days and 111

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recreational activ i ties aimed at females were intended to be alternatives to organized sport competition Rules were established as in 1923 when the Women s Division of the National Amateur Athlet ic Federat io n which was dominated by men, supported a sixteen-point women s athletic creed that promoted the belief that "the motivation of competitors in athletic activities should be for play s sake and not for the sake of prizes or awards ( Guttmann 1991 : 138) As a result female athletes were discouraged from part ic ipat i ng in athletic activity The reasons ranged from it would be improper for females to perform athletically in mixed company to physical restrictions aimed at preserv i ng a female s ability to attract a mate and properly bear children. By the late 1960s there were discussions taking place about the need for more competitive opportunities for females (Carpenter 1993) This led to the intense lobbying of Congress for passage of the anti-gender discrimination law calle d Title IX Passed by Congress on June 23 1972 Title IX was patterned after the language of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of race color or national origin Title IX applies only to sex discrimination against either males or females Other legislation was passed during the same era that covered race handicap and age discrimination. The goal of Title IX is to provide equal opportunity for both sexes in the educational environment. T itle IX says in part .... No person in the United States shal l on the bas i s of sex be excluded from participation i n be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance It applies to all programs 112

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within the school not just phys i cal education and athletics and is administered by the Office of Civil Rights. Schools were given nearly six years to change programs to be i n compliance by 1978. Hearings were held to develop regulations spelling out more of the details of what Title IX compliance would mean. From 1972 to 1978 many groups tried to influence how regulations would be written For instance the National Collegiate Athletic Association tried unsuccessfully to have athletes removed from the Title IX requirement. The NCAA fa i led again when i t tried via the Tower Amendment to remove revenue sports from T i tle IX jurisdiction (e g., football and basketball) By 1978 all educational institutions that received federal funding whether primary secondary public or private were no longer permitted to discriminate on the basis of sex anywhere on campus In 1984 the United States Supreme Court s decision in a case called Grove City (Carpenter and Acosta 1996) in effect removed intercollegiate athletics from the jurisdiction of Title IX The case involved a number of issues but of significance is the part of the court s decision that said that only the particular sub-unit of an educational institution that actually receives federal funding must comply with the antidiscrimination requirements of Title IX For instance the Grove City decision meant that if only the Biology department received federal funds only the Biology department had to comply with Title IX Thus the Grove City decision had little effect on high school programs However intercollegiate athletics seldom if ever receive federal funding After the Grove City decision Title IX could not be used to force athletic departments to treat their women s programs 113

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equitably In 1988 Congress overrode a presidential veto to pass the Civil Rights Restoration Act which in effect said that it did not intend for Title IX to apply only to a sub-unit of an institution but rather the entire institution Since 1972, there has been a general increase in sports participation by female athletes According to Carpenter and Acosta (1996) in 1977-78 the academic year just before the Title IX mandatory compliance date the average number of sports offered women was 5 .6 1 per school. In 1988 the number increased to 7 .31 and in 1996 to 7.53 an all-time high. In the 197778 school year 90 3 percent of NCAA affiliated colleges offered basketball for women 80.1 percent offered volleyball 80 percent offered tennis and 48.4 percent offered softball. Those sports remain among the most popular participation sports today with basketball increasing to 98.3 percent, volleyball 92.4 percent and tennis 87.8 percent. Soccer and cross country had the greatest increase going from 2 8 and 29.4 percent respectively in 1977 -7 8 to 68.9 and 85.2 percent in 1996 Basketball volleyball tennis cross country softball soccer and track and field are the most popular collegiate sports with most universities fielding teams for intercollegiate competition. Girls participation in high school sports went from 817,073 in 1972 to 1 779,972 in 1982. Among other changes Little League allowed girls to play baseball and softball in 1974 and Janet Guthrie became the first female driver in the Indianapolis 500 in 1976. In 1991, UCLA' s Ann Meyers was given a tryout 114

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by the NBA s Indiana Pacers and Judith Sweet was named the first woman president of the NCAA In 1996 American women scored team victories in soc c er softball and basketball at the Atlanta Olympic Games The follow i ng year two professional women s basketball leagues were formed (See Appendi x ) Title IX legislation not only affected the quality of the female experience in sport but became part of a critical women s health issue Studies (Lapchick 1995 ) show that girls and wome n who part i cipate in sports have h igher levels of conf i den c e and stronger self-images w i th lower levels of depression and unwanted pregnancy Further g i rls who part i c i pate i n as little as two hours of exercise per week significantly reduce their risk of breast cancer a disease that will affect one of every eight women in this country Resistance Although Title IX has been the law for the past 25 years female athletes continue to rece iv e fewer dollars than male athletes Accord i ng to a 1997 artic l e i n The C hronicle of High Education ( Naughton 1997), based on i nformation made public under the Equity i n Athletics Disclosure Act the proportion of sports related aid awarded to women at 25 colleges was at least five percent less than the proportion of female athletes at those institutions during the 199596 academic year Marcia D Greenbe r ger co-president of The Nat i onal W o men s Law Center pointed out that fema l es are given fewer opportunities than males to participate and when allowed to partic i pate are given fewe r resources than males Gi v en that the v ast majority of our nat i on s colleges and 115

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universities continue to severely limit athletic opportunities for female students i t is not asking for much to expect schools to be fair to the young women who do get a chance to play ( Naughton 1997 : A39) Toth (1996) states that a 1992 NCAA survey showed that glaring inequities in resources and opportunities between women s and men s sports were common in its member schools Women's teams received only 23 percent of scholarships in athletic budgets and men s teams received five times more money to recruit new athletes As well coaches of men s teams were paid 81 percent more than coaches of women s teams In 1996 girls and their parents from a high school softball team in The Daily Conservator s coverage area won a Title IX lawsuit against the local school board In the lawsuit the team claimed it had inferior facilities. The boys baseball team had restroom facilities and a water fountain in its dugout while girls had to cross a major street to use the restroom and had no water faci lit ies on their field The courts agreed but that decision did not automatically solve the problem The following headline and story appeared in The Daily Conservator Boys facilities may suffer in equality dispute. Forced by a court to have equal playing fields for both sexes Merritt Island High School has decided to tear down existing amenities for the boys rather than build new ones for the girls As a result the baseball field scoreboard will be disconnected the baseball concession stand will close and some baseball field bleachers will be roped off "If there was money available we wou ld try to have a softball f i eld as good or better than the boys ... but finances are just too t i ght sa i d Principal Henry Smith 116

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Summary Throughout this century women have either been denied the opportun ity to participate in sport or have been forced to participate under inferior conditions. For example in 1971 the AIAW (Association of Inter collegiate Athletics for Women) was organized to promote and regulate sports for collegiate women. With Title IX s passage and the enlargement of AIAW s membership and financial base a massive growth in the number of gir l s and women participating in sport took place But the AIAW died in 1981 after l osing an anti trust suit against the NCAA which had offered to provide a structure for women's athletics The traditionally male-dominated NCAA then became the governing body for both men's and women's intercollegiate athletics in America forcing many AIAW female administrators to secondary or tertiary positions within the NCAA The move put fema l e athletes in subordinate positions as NCAA admin istrators focused it s p r imary attent i on on men s sports From biological arguments that ma i nta i ned the female body was not made for sporting activities but rather for c h ild bearing to traditional minded administrators and policy makers who feared females involved in competitive sport would adversely affect the opportu nities for male athletes the struggle for gender equity appears to be headed into the next century While female athletes have made significant gains on the playing field those gains have not been matched in media news coverage Female athletes continue to lag beh i nd in news coverage as well as name recogni t ion. If female athletes are to make 117

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further gains during the 21st century the treatment of their triumphs glory and failures should be more adequately documented by sport media. 118

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CHAPTER 6 PRINT MATTERS My assignment for the evening was to cover the City University men s and women's basketball games It was my first time covering a basketball game at the school. The women s game was scheduled to start at 5:30p.m. with the men s game at 7:30p.m. or 20 minutes after the final buzzer of the women s game You don t have to get there until about half-time of the women s game," my editor said Get the box score and write a couple of paragraphs Then cover the men s game and write six-to-eight inches." I asked him why only a few inches on the women and a full story on men You don t want to be there all day do you?" he asked Besides the desk ain t gonna take a full story on the women. Come on don 't give me any shit about this ." In effect he was determining the news value of these events before they happened OK fine go to the women s game," he said with a h int of vexation in his voice T he desk still ain t gonna take a full story on the women." It is standard practice at the Conservator to assign longer story lengths for men s sports events than for women s events. Oftentimes women s events are ignored altogether For examp le during the col lege basketball season the Conservator prints conference standings for all of the major athletic conferences but only men s standings I ha ve never seen women s college basketball standings printed in the Conservator Recently I sent the assistant managing editor Travis an e-mail message concerning this practice He said he was trying 119

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to persuade the copy desk to include women's conference standings but had not been successful. I found his answer p lausib le but questionable Trav i s is se co nd in authority i n the sports department and is in charge of the day-to-day activities. Because the managing editor John spends much of his time in staff meetings or handling administrative tasks, Travis actually holds the power to shape office policy and procedures For example later during the same basketball season I was told to write short previews c alled preview boxes for C i ty University home basketball games They include game times opponents key players records and notes of interest. The prev iews are published in agate type and usually take up two or three inches During the second week of the season a copy editor admonished me for submitting preview boxes for the women s team When I asked why he said Travis had given the order Travis said we don t have room for them," the copy editor said The discrepant news va l ue and story length assigned to men s and women s college basketball at the Conservator are co nsistent with several content analyses of mass media that show female athletes receive far less news coverage than male athletes Kane and Greendorfer (1994) reported that in a conten t analysis of feature articles in the magazine Sports Illustrated between 1954 and 1987 males received 91 percent of the total coverage given to athletes during that period More recently Duncan Messne r and Williams (1990 1991 ) found that little had changed in the pattern of under-reporting of women's sports A 1991 (Du ncan M essner and W i lliams) study of four daily newspapers 120

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the Boston Globe, the Orange County Register the Dallas Morning News and USA Today-found that stories focusing exclusively on men's sports outnumbered those addressing women's sports by a ratio of 23 to 1 Even when men's baseball and football stories were eliminated from the totals men's stories still outnumbered women's stories almost 9 to 1 Further women-only sports stories accounted for just 3.5 percent of all stories while men-only stories made up 81 percent. Photographs too presented a slanted picture ; those of male athletes outnumbered those of female athletes 13 to 1 In broadcast reporting a 1991 and 1992 television content analysis study by Duncan et al. found that 92 percent of television air time was given to men's sports compared with only 5 percent allotted to women and three percent neutral. I developed a similar quantitative analysis for my res e arch to see if result s would be replicated and to establish the relationship between the qualitative data I gathered and quantitative eviden c e of a gender gap in sport news. I focused my primary analysis on a s e ason of college basketball because it provides an easily measured test. Men and women have similar season lengths the rules of the game are almost identi c al and most s c hools have both men s and women s teams The primary analysis looks at the news coverage of male and femal e basketball reporting at The Daily Conservator during the 1994-95 college basketball season Variables included : the number of stories written about male and female athletes ; the number of photographs of f e males and males ; the number of c opy inches of male and female athletes ; 121

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I also kept track of the number of stories and photos that included both male and female athletes for the sake of completeness Quantitative results are followed by a discussion of more qualitative factors such as story and photo placement headline significance and relative team performance For example sports editors at the Conservator keep a calendar of important local national and international events The scheduling of these events -sometimes a year in advance -is critical not only for coverage ass i gnment but for financial budget i ng as well. Events like the World Series the NCAA men s Final Four basketball tournament the Super Bowl various professional boxing matches tennis and golf tournament are high priority items each year. Conservator editors recently added the NCAA women s Final Four basketball tournament to the advance calender priority list but events involving female athletes like the ABL and WNBA championships and the NCAA volleyball championship tournament have not been tabbed for coverage One of my colleague-informants pointed out that the WNBA s inaugural champ i onships featured a player from the Conservator's coverage area who became part of a major news story when she suffered a career-threatening injury in a semifinal game and was not able to participate in the title game "We should have covered this event," my colleague said I don't understand management's decision making This woman played high school and college basketball right here i n this area We dropped the ball on this one ." The Conservator's area rival newspaper the Progressor did cover the WNBA championships by sending a news reporter 122

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Free Listing Task I designed a research instrument that would elicit perceptions about male and female athletes against wh i ch I could compa re the actual breakdown in coverage by gender Content analysis studies show that male athletes receive the overwhelming amount of sport news coverage. I believe this affects the way our society consciously and unconsciously perceives who are and who are not legitimate athletes One m i ght predict that Americans are soc i ally influenced to think primarily of males when asked to recall popular or high profile athletes by name To what extent do these patterns of thought line up with the relative proportion of male and fema le news coverage? To verify this assumption I designed two free listing tasks The purpose was to see what if any cognitive differences exist when it comes to gender and recognition of high profile athletes Informants were asked to l ist the names of athletes they had come to know through the media They were given two minutes. During this kind of task cognitive recall is challenged and the most salient names will appear at the top of the list ( Weller and Romney 1988). Accord i ng to Weller and Romne y ( 1988) the free listing task is the most useful general te chnique for isolating and defining familiarity The authors state : There are several things that can be observed and inferred from such lists First some items are more salient better known important or familiar than other items and such items occur earlier or higher up in an individual s list than those that lack such characteristics ( Weller and Romney 1988 : 1 0). The design of my free listing task presumes that the 123

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cognitive recall of informants will reflect gender ratios in the approximate percentages revealed in content analyses The second free list task was generated from the following quest i ons : In two minutes please list the names of any male athlete you have come to know through the media Then please list the name of any female athlete you have come t o know through the media." The male list was predicted to be sign i ficantl y longer than the fema l e list. Would these d i fferences a lso reflect sport media s reporting of male and female athletes? The first task was given to 40 female athletes at a local high school girls all-star basketball tournament who might be e x pec ted to have female ath l etes as role models Informants for the second free listing task came from two high school social studies classes with males and females I p r etested both f r ee list i ng tasks on seve r al non sports department Conservator emp l oyees and on several of my colleagues i n sports In both cases the informants thought the task was designed to test their recall about athletes in general. No one suspected the test had g e nder i mplications until we discussed it at the c omp l etio n of t he task The results of the init i al free listing show that mal e athletes dominate i nformant responses Of the top 20 responses 19 are male athletes Jackie Joyner Kersee was ranked s ixth to break up a top-twenty male sweep and tennis player Jennifer Capriati was 2 151. Basketball p l ayer Michael Jordan topped the list foll o wed by teammate Scottie Pippen then Shaqui l le O Neal Larry B i rd Mag ic Johnson Bo Ja c kson and Joe M o ntana 124

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The results of the second free listing task show that the average number of males listed was 9 85 with the longest list being 17 and the shortest list two The average number of females listed was 4 16 with the longest listing being 12 and the shortest zero Of 42 lists constructed nine were able to l ist no female athletes Of the total names listed (687) men appeared 483 times and women appeared 20 4 t imes for a percentage of 70% to 30% Those percentages are similar to those found in the content analysis described ne xt. Content Analysis Results My primary content analysis from the 1994-95 basketball season showed that male athletes received an overwhelmingly greater amount of news coverage in the numbers of photos stories and copy inches. The college basketball season begins in November with several preseason games followed by a dozen or so non-conference games, including holiday tournaments at Thanksgiving and Christmas. During November I analyzed 19 days of news coverage Those 19 days represented every day of the month that college basketball news coverage appeared in the newspaper Photos of males outnumbered those of females 29-to-2. That is men made up near ly 94 percent of photographic images presented Male-only stories outnumbered female-only stories 154-to-45 (77% to 23%) and males dominated the copy inches 658-to-148 (82% to 18 % ). The analyses of December January February and March were shortened because I could not retrieve the same editions for the full months I collected sports sections every day from th e main office during the basketball season but I 125

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did not realize that I was collecting different editions, which had d i fferent l ayouts The Conservator publishes three editions--state county and metro--during the week and one edition on weekends The editions layouts can be radically different, depending on news developments For example news coverage of basketball games played on the West coast are not published in the state edition the earliest edition because many of the games are still i n progress at the 10 : 45 p.m East Coast deadline Games played on the East Coast may not make the state edit i on if they go into overtime or run long and reporters cannot file their stories by 10 : 45 p m Games that don t make the state edition are published in the county edition which has an 11:45 p m deadline The metro edition has a 12:45 a m to 1 a.m deadline Oftentimes layouts are changed from edition to edition to feature local teams no matter where they play The edition names are only printed on the front of the main section Thus to be consistent I se l ected only metro edit i ons newspapers for analyses Once I found that I didn t have all metro editions I went to the Conservator s Back Issues department to supplement my search. However the Back Issues department coordinator told me she didn 't have metro editions available for every day either Rather than incorporate non-metro editions into my analys i s I decided to randomly chose the number of days I would analyze I chose the number of days and asked the Back Issues department manager to randomly select the dates and I crossed my f i ngers there would be metro sections available for those days So for December since i t was the 12th month 126

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I decided to analyze 12 days of news coverage and asked the department head to give me any 12 days of newspapers I repeated the process for January February and March. The 1994-95 basketball season concluded with just three days of coverage in April. Table 1 Male-Female Photo Comparison I Photo Comparison I Males I Females November 29/19 (Photos/days) 3/19 December 16/12 0 January 40/4 0 February 9/7 0 March 18/8 5/8 April 18/3 3/3 Totals 94/53 11/53 Photos In December photos of men outnumbered those of women 16-to-none (1 00%) Men-only stories outnumbered women-only stories 181-to-57 (76% to 24%) and men dominated the copy inches 562.5-to-133 (81% to 19%) In January, photos of men outnumbered those of women 40-to -0 (1 00% to 0%) In February I analyzed seven days of coverage I chose newspapers from the ninth 14th, 16th, 21s t 22nct, 24th and 28th. I found nine photographs of men and none of women The March and April content analysis revealed much the same disproportionate cove rage However during these months the disparities are 127 I

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much more clearly defined because the coinciding men's and women s NCAA conference regional and national championship tournaments became the top news stories each day and were placed on the front page. Quantitative indicators show the overall percentages for females are slightly higher but considering that college basketball takes center stage during March and April there is less competition from other sports for space In March male photos outnumbered those of females 18-to-5 (78% to 22% ) During three days of content analysis in April --the women's NCAA semifinals and final and the men s semifinal-males had 18 photos while females had four (82% to 18%) During the 1994-95 college basketball season I analyzed 53 days of news coverage During the 53 days of analysis there were 94 photo g raphs of male athletes and 11 of f e male a thletes ; 9 0 percent of the photographs were of male athletes Stori e s When I compared stories by gend e r the results showed males with nearly a 4-to-1 margin My analysis found that of 815 stori e s counted 608 were (74%) written about male basketball players and 20 7 written about female basketball players In November male baske tball stories outnumbered female basketball stori e s 154 to 45 ( 77% to 23%). In D e c e mber stori e s about male basketball players outnumbered those about females 181to-57 (76% to 24%) and in January mal e stories outnumber e d f e male stories 5 8 to 29 ( 67 % to 3 3% ) February s male basketball player stori e s outnumbered those for females 93-to -128

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34 and in March male stories outnumbered female stories 95-to-33 (7 4% to 26%) Table 2. Male-Female Story Comparison I Story Comparison I Males I Females November 154/19 45/19 December 181/12 57/12 January 58/4 29/4 February 93/7 34/7 March 95/8 33/8 April 27/3 9/3 Totals 608/53 207/53 Table 3 Male-Female Copy Inch Comparison I Copy Inch Comparison I Males I Females November 658/19 148/19 December 562 5/12 133/12 January 179/4 52 5/4 February 296/7 45/7 March 718/8 182/8 April 164/3 108/3 Totals 2 577 5/53 668.5/53 Copy Inches Men s college basketball dominated copy inches 2 577 -to-668.5 (79% to 21 %) during the 53 days of analysis Du ring 19 days of analysis i n November 129 I I

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men s basketball stories received 658 inches of copy while women s basketball stories received 148 (82% to 18%) Likewise in December men s college basketball dominated copy inches 565-to-133 (81% to 19%) During January men aga i n dominated copy inches 179-to-52 5 (77% to 23%) In February men had 296 inches of copy while women had 45 (87% to 13%) and in March male inches outnumbered female inches 718-to-182 (80% to 20%) During three days of coverage in April men s basketball copy inches outnumbered women s basketball copy inches 164-to-1 08 (60% to 40 % ) Qualitative factors Qualitative evidence gathered from participant-observation reflects some of the reasons for the disparity in coverage and helps to contextualize the numerical results For example each year before the start of the NCAA men s tournament there are feverish levels of excitement among sport news workers at the ConseNator During tournament time which some sport news workers affectionately call the show or the big dance," there are day-long philosophical discussions about who will or will not win If a sport news worker is an alumnus of a school playing in the tournament there is always the difficulty of making win-lose calculations on emotional allegiance or facts about the school s on court performance Offi ce pools are formed around the 64-team men s bracket. The top participant who chooses the most correct victories leading to the tournament championship wins the pot. It has become a tradition The women s bracket is ignored I asked some of my informant130

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colleagues why the women s bracket is not inclu ded The responses ranged from You ve got to be kidding ; nobody is i nterested in the women to Maybe next year. I suggested the women s tournament be included in the office pool because it provides a reason to take interest in the tournament. In order to successfully compete in the pool one has to "do a little homework Despite the expressed lack of interest from sport news workers at the Conservator the 1995 women's final drew a sell-out crowd 18 038 in Minneapolis which saw Connect icut defeat Tennessee 70-64 and f i n is h the season with a 35-0 record The ne xt day (Monday, April 3 1995) the Conservator's lead story was a preview of the men s final between UCLA and Arkansas. I think most journalist would agree that the protocol for this scenario is that news should take precedence over a preview. I have witnessed several occasions where Conservator editors have cut previews to the ire of reporters in order to devote adequate space to a sport news event. An 8 % x 4 inch color photo of UCLA coach Jim Harric k and player Tyus Edney had the larges t headline on the page accompanied the story Below was the UConn Tennessee story and a 2% x 4 color photo of All-American Rebecca Lobo celebrating the vic tory Both stories jumped inside to page four where a black and white UConn Tennessee game photo ran on top of black and white photos of Harric k and Arkansas coach Nolan Richard and former UCLA coach John Wooden Interest i ngly The Progressor ran a similar photo of Lobo but it was the lead (color) photo (9 x 6) accompanying the lead story while the men s championship 131

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game preview took a smaller headline and featured mug shots of Edney and Arkansas Corey Beck USA Today took a similar approach featuring a 5 x 6112 colo r photo from the UConn-Tennessee game as its lead photo with the women s final as the lead story The men s championship game preview was played prominently and got two full inside pages of news coverage compared with one for the women but the brackets for both tournaments appeared in the paper Only the men s bracket appeared in either the Progressor or Conservator Even when women s games were more dynamic and had greater news val ue the tendency to cover males more prominently remained constant. For example toward the middle of the season I covered a City University double header men 's and women s basketball game. During the final minutes of the women s game the City University sports information director came to the media table and told me that the team s star player was not only recording a triple double in points rebounds and steals but as well was breaking the school s single-game and single-season records for steals with her performance that day.2 I used my cellular teleph one to call the copy desk to make editors aware of these events. I was told I could "wri te a little longer The men s game was a blow out (a game where one team wins by 20 or more points ) starting with the first basket so I was sure the copy desk would recognize the news value d ifferences I wrote eight in c hes on the women s game and just shy of eight inches on the men s game The next day, the men s story ran in full and recei ved 2Single game and season school records sometimes remain unchallenged for ye ars 1 32

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a large-sized headline while the women s game story was cut to just over five inches and given no special attention i n the layout. When I complained to the copy desk staff my informant-colleagues seemed indifferent. Similar i ties in results The results of my content analyses are similar to previous content analyses For example, a 1984 content analysis by Rintala and Birrell revealed that a systematic imbalance in sport news was evident i n Young Athlete magazine Kane and Greendorfer wrote : "Examining the availability of sports women as athletic ro l e models for female adolescents the authors discovered that Young Athlete magazine created the impress i on that the world of sports is dominated by males For example less than one-third of all photographs that appeared in this magazine between 1975 and 1982 included female athletes The authors also discovered that the percentage of photographs depicting females decreased even further if the photograph was prominent e.g., centerfold cover" ( Kane and Greendorfer 1994 : 35) A Lumpk i n and Williams study (1991) found that through a thorough examination of feature articles by race and gender in every Sports Illustrated issue from 1954 through 1987 showed that less than 1 0 % 320 out of 3 273 -feature report i ng on sportswomen Year End Stories At the end of each calendar year Conservator sport news workers select the year s top sport stories There are three categories -national, state and 133

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local. A year ender ballot is given to each news worker with inst ruct ions from the assistant manag i ng editor : Once again it' s time to select the Conservator stories of the year We'll put the list together with help from your votes. Please rank your top five stories in the nationa l state and local categories Return them to me by Dec 14" ( 1997) (See appendix ) Of the 26 stories presented for voting only two--women s professional basketball and tennis player Martina H i ngis --involved female athletes Thus stories about male athletes comprise 77 percent of the ballot. The top 1 0 stories selected were: Tyson bites Holyfi eld Tiger Woods the Green Bay Pac kers Chicago Bulls baseball inter league play Dean Smith s retirement the Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup victory, Marv Albert Latrell Sprewell and the WNBA. Nonetheless in 1997 there were a number of significant national stories involv i ng female athletes besides Ma rtina Hingis and women s professional basketball For example Tara L i pinski became the youngest athlete ever to win the World Figure S kating Championships At the 1997 World Champ ionships for swimming Jenny Thompson won gold medals in the 1 00-meter Butterfly setting a world record and the 1 00-meter Freestyle She also earned a silver medal in the 50-meter Freest yle. And in track and field Gail Devers won the 60-meters in the International Amate ur Athletic Federation ( IAAF ) World Indoor Championships in March and was ranked No 1 in the United States in the 1 GO meters There was no nom ination of the NCAA women s national champion in basketball Tennessee but the NCAA men s national champion Arizona was 134

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nominated Basketball player Chamique Holdsclaw not only led Tennessee to the women s national championship but was the only college player named to the USA World Championship Qualify i ng Team She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Women s Final four and a first-team All American yet still not mentioned among top stories for the year. There was also no mention of Mia Hamm who was named Most Valuable Player of the U S Women s Cup after leading her team to a first-place finish Hamm had name recogn it ion from 1996 when she was named Female Athlete of the Year by the U S Soccer Federation And lastly a number of significant stories about female athletes in 1997 dealt with gender equity and Title IX issues None were considered for top year-end stories When these kinds of stories are printed oftentimes they are reduced to several paragraphs in the sports section or printed in other sections of the paper Conclusion Last year a colleague-informant called to tell me that I had been mentioned i n a letter to the ed i tor published on March 31, 1997 The letter writer is a man who has been critical of the Conservator s sports coverage and has written letters since 1992. The letter writer conducted his own content analysis and the results were similar to m i ne. The letter read : Having read your re ce nt editorial on Titl e IX and gender equity in sports I want to congratulate you on again bringing this issue to the attention of your readers. In an edition of the Conservator almost five years ago (July 23, 199 2) you published an outstanding lead editorial in which you a dvocated equitable treatment of girls and women in sports That same year your 135

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newspaper published an insightful carefully documented series of articles on women s ath letics written by Walter Lee Doz ie r as well as his follow-up article on media coverage of women s sports Unfortunately however the Conservator has not taken its own adv ic e to heart and implemented equitable coverage of women's sports in the paper To illustrate my point I call to your attention the relative coverage given to the men s and women s NCAA basketball tournaments In your edition of March 10 in which the tournaments were previewed the Sports section included a front page story and two add itional pages of coverage for the men s tournament. For the women s tournament i n which State Un iversity competed, about 20 column-inches of Page 6 were utilized Brackets for both tournaments were published ; however the bracket for the women s tournament was in black and white while that of the men was i n color On March 15 following the first day on which there was competition in both tournaments, coverage was as follows: front page cove rage in the Sports sectionincluding scores of games played and an additional ful l page-for the men s tournament ; only about one-third of Page 3 for the women s tournament. On March 16 the inequity was even worse. Apparently your paper's sports staff has not received (or is ignoring) your own editorial position on gender equity in sports Or does your stance on this important issue not apply to them? Girls and women deserve equitable encouragement opportunity and recognition for participation in sports I urge the Conservator to reform and be fair to both genders I clipped the letter and showed it to the executive sports editor He said he had read the letter and agreed that more needed to be done to improve the news coverage of fema le athletes 136

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CHAPTER 7 PAGE FIVE My telephone rang about 10 a.m. It was my former editor Easy Two years ago he had taken a similar position at the rival local newspaper The Progressor but we kept in touch as friends He is the only male editor I have worked for who encouraged me to pursue stories about female athletes You guys blew it," he said opening the conversation. I wasn t exactly sure what he meant but I had a feeling it involved the girls state basketball tournament that both newspapers co vered during the previous two days. You guys blew it big time-" I made small talk while I grabbed my newspaper from my front door and scanned the sports section. My attention went right to the front page looking for my story about Guardian Angels winning the Division AAA state title. I figured the editors at The Daily Conservator had either put the story at th e bottom of the page or used a small photograph with a reference to the story on one of the inside pages The routine after a high school team wins a state title is for the story and usually a color photograph to run on the front page among the professional and Division I college news It's one of the few times local high school sports and athletes can make the front page Generally boys have gotten better front page play from state championship victories but placement and 137

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presentation of girls victories wasn t bad and was improving each year. A couple more minutes of scanning the front page brought home the reality of Easy 's exclamation. The scenario was worse than I imagined I was momentarily stunned. The Guardian Angels' state championship victory wasn 't on the front page at all. Neither was a photograph. It wasn t on page two or page three, or page four It was on page five What were you guys thinking? Easy inquired. "You guys really blew it." Within thirty minutes the coach of the Guardian Angels team called Needless to say he was vexed Who do I talk to about this?" the coach demanded What do my kids have to do to get some responsible news coverage from your newspaper? Are you mad at them because they re girls? They work just as hard as the boys They put in just as many hours as the boys and then you give them this crap." He vented his vexation for another ten minutes There was nothing absolutely nothing I could say to him that would ea se his exasperatio n It wasn't the first time this coach had voiced his disappointment with the news coverage of female athletes by sport media in general. He wasn 't the only one either He was simply among the most outspoken, among the most cr iti cal of The Daily Conservator s news gap between male and female athletes I went to the main office later that day I wanted to know why this local high school state championship victory was put on page five when all others during my employment at the Conservator had gone on the front page I wasn 't sure if 1 was be i ng punished for my advocacy or if the coach was being slighted 138

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for his outspokenness or whether department policy for this type of news event had been changed and I just wasn t aware of it. I started by asking several copy ed i tors They said the dec ision had come from management. I asked my editor Bernard if he knew anything about the decision. Knowing that Bernard is an outspoken critic and opponent of female athletics I thought for sure he would have been part of the dec i sion mak i ng process Surprisingly he wasn 't. Bernard said he too was surprised by the story p l acement. He said when he left work the previous day he took it for granted that if Guardian Angels won the state title the story would get some front page coverage Next I went to Wayne the editor i n charge of prep sports Like Bernard he said he left the office with the understanding that a state championship victory story would need no discussion about placement. Wayne said he thought the decision making process would involve how much of the story would go on the front before be i ng jumped to the inside and how large of a photo would run with it. His sentiments were like Easy s ; we blew it." That left only three people who had the position and power to make the decisionFarland a regional editor Travis an assistant managing editor or John the executive sports editor I talked to Farland first. He pointed me to the source of the decision It was John I found John as he was leaving his office As usual he was on his way to a meeting As executive sports editor in the sports department most of his time is spent in staff meetings with other department managers as mentioned in Chapter 6 The day-to-day decis i ons are normally 139

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left to Travis I said John I understand you made the decision to put the Guardian Angels' state champ i onship victory on page five Why? As managing ed i tor John doesn t have to make excuses for his act i ons He s in charg e and I answer to h i m not vice versa Nonetheless he took the time to explain his decision I really wasn t thinking about i t," he said I didn 't give it much thought. The stor y should have gone on the front page We'll f ix it ne x t time." Budget Decisions This Chapter looks at the relationship among sport news workers sport news j udgment and the sport news de c ision mak i ng process Each day sports editors at The Daily C onservat o r must decide what news and how much of i t wil l make it into print. That process is carried out in budget meetings where various ed i tors form a comple x organizational structure In budget meetings editors o f professional college and h i gh school sports d i scuss news events of the day (primarily game coverage) that make up the daily budget. Editors present facts ideas and arguments from their perspectives in an effort to gain news space for the i r respec t i v e sports Reporters are allowed to add news items to the daily budget such as loca l high school or college games but news space allotted for these events is limited and subject to spa c e availabil i t y after editor decis i ons are made For e x ample i f a reporter requests news space to cover a local high school or college basketball game that has been determined by editors to be of little interest to readers the reporter is like ly t o be told to file ( write ) a story of si x to e i ght 140

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inches The story could appear in the paper anywhere from one inch to eight inches or not make it into print at all. Feature stories or game stor i es selected by editors to be primary news will be guaranteed space and could be accompanied by a photograph Photographs highlight primary news events and affect story placement. Stories with photographs are usually given primary news status. Primary news stories are normally 15-to-20 inches in length Special in-depth feature stories with accompany i ng photographs can be a long as 30-to-40 inches in length and are often assigned to reporters by editors Reporters can request to write enterprise features of this length but they must be approved by editors Breaking news events such as the death of an important sports personality or a criminal act by an athlete can override all budgeted features or news stories. Editors must also decided where news will be placed in the sports section Stories that have been determined by editors to be primary news or news of greatest interest to the public are placed on the front page The top news stories of the day are placed above the fold while secondary stories are placed below the fold Subsequent pages are filled with news items of descending importance and are most times arranged or departmentalized by sports For instance college basketball is separated from professional basketball while professional baseball is separated from college and h i gh school baseball. There i s also a hierarchy of importance in sports Generally editors at the Conservator give football, professional and college greater consideration and thus better news space than all other sports Along with football baseball 141

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basketball and hockey make the top four sports in a descending order of importance Golf tennis and auto ra cing are among the other sports receiving vario us amounts of regular news coverage and space Sports like soccer track and field cross country equestrian or swimming receive seasonal coverage during peak competitive periods In all sports except ice skating, editors give male athletes priority over female athletes Most daily budgets ( See Appendix 6 ) that I saw during my i nternship did no t include any events involving female athletes I entitled this chapter Page F iv e" to highlight how the editor's budget meeting decision making process relegated the Guard i an Angels state championship victory story to page five when other state c hampionship stories routinely have been placed on the front page In this example when editors decided the Guardian Angels state championship victory was not among the primary news stories of the day it left the placement of the story up to metro copy editors who are unfamiliar with most prep news events Those copy editors must choose from hundreds of other news items to fill the non-primary news space The Guardian Ange ls story was just another news story to them Because the story involved female athletes it received still less consideration Sports Beats Sports beats are also hierarchical and are consistent with the sports hierarchy The reporters who are assigned to cover professional football, baseball basketball and hockey are among the highest paid i n the department 142

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and their stories appear on the front page above the fold more often than all other writers Reporters at the Conservator are socialized to understand that these beats are the most coveted work assignments and are only given to those individuals who show the most promise through department loyalty and quality reporting and writing Inexperienced reporters are assigned to youth sports girls sports or minor high school sports like golf or tennis then advance to boys high school sports assignments like basketball football and baseball. Once a reporter has successfully demonstrated competency at this level he or she can apply for college or professional assignments when they become available Organizational Structure The decision making process begins with editors during the daily budget meeting The meeting normally includes the executive sports editor the assistant sports editor the metro (professional) sports editor state (prep) sports editor and the metro desk copy chief or the copy editor responsible for the sports section s design that day The assistant sports editor is often times the key person in the budget meetings because he makes many of the department's day-to-day decisions The executive sports editor spends much of h is day outside of the sports department at department head staff meetings The metro editor metro copy desk chief and state sports editor report to the assistant editor at the Conservator These ed i tors are all males There are no female assignment editors or copy desk editors The metro reporters are assigned to professional and college sports and report directly to the metro sports editor. All other 143

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reporters are assigned to one of four county staffs and report to a county editor The county editor reports to the state sports editor who coordinates prep coverage in four county regions I was one of two reporters assigned to cover a col lege beat but not assigned to the metro staff The other reporter worked in an outlying county and had comparably fewer college-connected responsibilities because the college was on the perimeter of the Conservator's coverage area and wasn t considered a primary news beat. With the college assignment there were times when it was necessary for me to report to and get assignments from the metro editor or the assistant sports editor This overlap in duty assignment occasionally created an awkward management situation and gaps in news coverage For example, one year City College qualified for the NCAA national championship volleyball tournament and I was the beat writer assigned to the school. The editor I normally report to a county prep editor told me that it was not necessary to travel with the team to the national championship tournament. I noticed that when other colleges qualified for post-season play their beat writers traveled to the championship tournament sites Later when I asked the executive sports editor about the situation he told me that I should have traveled with the team and added that in the future I did not need to get permission from my county editor 144

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Table No 4 The Daily Conservator Management Hierarchy 0 --Ul 145

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Perspective and News Judgment The Guardian Angels' state championship story placement on page five produced a gap in coverage that can occur when the news decision-making process is controlled by editors with little or no interest in female athletes My county editor assumed the story would be placed on the front page without the need for discussion and therefore didn t see the necessity to attend the daily budget meeting He said he left for the day assuming the story would be given primary news status The other editors did not see the importance of the story rece i ving any primary news status consideration It was the responsibility of my editor to make the other editors aware of the importance of this news event. Lichter et al (1986) write in their research that journalists perspectives on social reality are guided by their backgrounds beliefs and inner needs The editors who control the budget process are unfamiliar with and unconcerned about female athletics On several occasions my editor has told me, nobody cares about women s sports. Lichter et al (1986) wrote : Despite their great e r s ophistication today those in America still seem to find it diffi c ult to recognize that the facts are not merely given but rather are to some ex tent det e rmined by the perspective o ne brings to them (Licht e r et al : 1986 : 5) The authors state there is resistanc e on the part of some in media to examine and recognize the significance of th e se perspectives Lapchick (1995) observes that: Few peopl e stop to consider whose views are reflected in the e vents that are selected for news and the subsequent 146

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manner in which they are portrayed The viewpoints conveyed through the press are largely the product of a homogenous group of reporters and editors (Lapchick 1995 : 21 0) Those viewpoints impact public news perceptions Sage (1990) contends that mass media is engaged in the social construction of information that conveys and promotes dominant culture political-ideological agendas Sage feels that much of mass media's ideological work is that of impression management. He wrote : There has been an increasing interest in the media and an increasing awareness of the role they play in shaping people's understanding of the world. Their influence has been analyzed by social scientists from several theoretical standpoints. Most analysts have found that the media is biased toward maintaining the status quo and promoting dominant group interest (Himm e lste in, 1984 ; Meyrowitz 1985 ) ( Sa g e 1990 : 119) If media denies women, or ethnic minorities, or people with disabilities a proper image it creates misleading and dangerous impressions and beliefsa distorted reality of sorts Sage calls them misleading half-truths that conceal how the media can constrain and shape public impressions and beliefs. One of the forms this takes is shaping the images people hold of the media itself Media Influence A few years ago I wrote a feature about an outstanding girl basketball player who was also the s c hool's homecoming queen as well as an honor student. The feature was a preview for a county girls' game between two of the area s top teams and top two players As part of the standard practice of sports 147

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journalism I covered the game as a natural follow to the preview I arrived at the game 45 minutes before tip-off so I could write in the line ups in my score book and get any pre-game information from the coaches that might be pertinent to the game. While sitting in the stands just behind the scorers table I heard two women talking : That's the girl. That s her She s the one we read about in the newspaper." I turned around to get a closer look The women looked like they were in their 60s or 70s I asked them i f they had children playing on the team They said no Their children they said were old enough to have children playing on the team They simply had read my preview story in the newspaper and decided to come out and watch the game. Other reporters have cited similar experiences, apart from gender leading me to believe that media influences at least some readers behavior Last summer I wrote a story about a male basketball player who had played a couple of years in Europe but had gotten into some fights and was kicked out of the league For several years he tried to convince agents and scouts that he had matured and amended his aggressive behavior with the hopes of getting a second chance at playing basketball in Europe. In my story I wrote about his plight and added information about his happy marriage and the recent birth of his daughter Several weeks later he called the Conservator and left a message that he had gotten a call from a sport agent and was going overseas to play basketball again In his message he stated that the media coverage from my story had helped him and he wanted to say thank you Not 148

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long ago I received a postcard from the athlete again thanking me for my help Many of the managers editors and writers truly believe that the current agenda in sport media is consistent with the demands of the American public The greater the fan base the greater the public interest. The greater the public interest the greater the demand for news coverage Thus news decisions are based upon this belief However when fan support decl i nes in the sports most popular among wr i ters and editors at The Daily Conservator such as football and baseball a commensurate drop in coverage does not necessarily follow That issue was the top i c of discussion among some Conservator staffers after the 1994 professional baseball strike that saw attendance levels i n some cities drop between 25 and 30 percent. Ed, a Daily Conservator veteran sports writer with 20 years of experience in sports and a seasoned professional baseball beat writer c ommented : I d call the drop in coverage around the nation marginal but certainly not commensurate with the drop in attendance Attendance is starting to increase but it s not what is was before the strike But I don t think newspapers were going to seriously consider decreasing coverage to reflect the drop in attendance That just wasn t going to happen." Personal perspectives guide and influence the decision making process in The Daily Conservator sports department in various ways Decisions about news presentation are discussed and argued not only in budget meetings but among colleagues as well. Editors vested with decision-mak i ng power can and do make unilate r a l decisions which affect news presentation For example the 149

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administrator of a small Christian school wrote a letter to me at the Conservator complaining about the lack of sports coverage his school and conference received from the paper He wrote : ... I would like to say something about a comment you made regarding our conference You stated a little less than a year ago Cassie Brown led Saints Christian to the little-known Region Christian Conference Championship It is true that our conference is little known but one of the reasons is that the Conservator has given our athletes very little recognition in the 25 years that our conference as been in existence In other areas of the state our conference is better known as the local papers seek to cover the athletes of our member school. ... You and I have talked about the fact that the Conservator seeks to recognize state high school activities assoc iation members without giving much recognition to our athletes I am not sure that this will ever change I believe it is sad as our schools seek to produce good athletes and good young people Truly the quality of a person cannot be measured in baskets, base hits or touchdowns but in what they do for others." I mentioned the letter to my editor He told me that under Conservator policy schools that do not belong to the state high school activities association do not receive regula r coverage When the administrator ca lled the newspaper a few days later I told him about the policy Sure enough his school was not a member of the state high school activities association. But he said the parents teachers administrators and students at his school purchase the newspaper and bought advertising space and thus should be entitled to the same services as other schools I told the executive sports editor about the administrator's comp laint. He said the principal was right and that there was no company policy limiting coverage for schools that were not members of the state high school activities association Again this i llustrat es how perceptions and perspective 150

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influence decision making The policy-decision had been made by my editor Bernard, who simply feels that small Christian school sports are not on the same competitive level as larger public and pr iv ate schools and thus a bit of a bother I find that perspectives and opinions about gender equity in sports fall generally but not exclusively into three categories-perpetrator bystander and rebel. Don Saba a sociologist, introduced me to this categor izatio n during a conversation at a Women s Sports Foundation Summit though he had not used them in a publication. I think most of my colleagues and informants fall into the bystander category. There are males in the rebel category and females in the perpetrator category but most of the rebels are females and most of the perpetrators are males Since there are no females in decision-making capacities in the ConseNator's sports department and only one female copy editor the perspectives from decision makers is decidedly male Male Perspectives Travis is in h is mid-30s He has 15 years of experience starting as a copy runner and working his way up to assistant sports editor He has never worked as a reporter. His colleague tease him about his height because he is one of the shortest men on the staff He takes his position and responsibilities very seriously Travis said that there are times when metro copy editors do not make good news judgments because they are not familiar with certain sports He said we have an obligation to report on sporting events which are not necessari ly popular among editors and writers. 151

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" During the Winter Olympics I had to babysit some of the sports coverage because most of the guys on the desk don t know anything about sports other than baseball and football. I stayed late several nights during the Olymp ics just to make sure stuff got in the paper. If I wasn t here to make sure some of the lesser known sports got in the paper the guys on the desk wouldn t have done it. They don t know these sports or care about them." Travis, like most informants feels sport media can do more and should do more reporting on women s sports H e said he feels the coverage of women s sports at the Conservator ha s improved greatly during the past five years Yes we should be covering women s sports and women s issues in sports. But we can t afford to jeopardize the coverage of our main sports People want to read about pro football and hockey and baseball. We can t cut back on those sports just to get a feature in about a female athlete We need to write features about women that are timely and newsworthy. I've urged the writers to pursue this." Many of my male informants use an attendance argument against increased news coverage of female athletes Some sports writers and editors at The Daily Conservator compare attendance figures from male and female athletic contests whenever there is a discussion about increased coverage of fema le events They say most female sport events simply lack public interest and therefore don t demand increased attention from media. Th ey say as attendance increases so will coverage On several occasions my editor Bernard has said: 'We are here to report not support." "We' re only giving the public what it wants," is also often proclaimed ." 1 asked Ed if sport media s coverage of female athletes is fair given the attendance argument. 152

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" No not even close I've covered basically every kind of sport I started at the Conservator in a bureau in the mid-70s We barely acknowledged girls sports at that point. If my memory serves me correct I did a fair amount of girls sports coverage at the time only because I was sort of on my own It was whatever I came up with was what we put in the paper But there was no organized coverage like we have today where there are specified events and you re at them My stories were mostly in the form of features. When I moved to the downtown office and covered the university I frankly didn't do much with women s sports at that time because the paper wasn t interested in it. There was no encouragement to do it. I remember one time specially the girls volleyball team at Flower High was playing for the state championship and I felt like I should go cover it. We hadn t done much with them all year So I asked to go cover the game I caught all k i nd of grief They told me 'They ca n call it i n .' It was a state championship. I think I did get to go to the game but only after some amazing turbulence Since about 1980 I ve concentrated on professional sports or the business side of sports. Nonetheless, he said, 20 years ago there wasn't a big demand from parents or coaches for increased coverage Most women s coaches were just glad to see you whenever you came out. Ed said he can t recall any parents or coaches ever calling the newspaper to compla in about the level of coverage Still he said with the shrinking news space and increasing number of sports in the public eye there isn 't a great demand for women's sports today "We' re going to give the public what it wants, he said." Ed said there is a news coverage arrogance among staff members of, if we cover it it s news if we don 't it's not. Ed said he would like to see sports writers examine and treat sport news with greater sincerity by looking at more serious issues. Going to games is fine he said but there are some issues including gender that need to be examined You got guys by and larg e who have been in there for a lo ng time in our department and I think there is a natural tendency to let 153

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serious things go and not tackle some of the more serious issues I think everyone would benefit from doing what I did The reason a lot of people get into sports is because they like going to ball games and talking to the athletes That's fun But once you stay in sports you realize that covering games is the least important thing that we do Okay Games by and large are not special anymore There are special games don' t get me wrong But is a Tuesday night Magic-Sacramento game life or death? I don't think so. Is a week nine NFL game that big a deal? Probably not. We owe it to our readers to maybe step back the game coverage a bit and step up the stuff that g i ves them someth i ng to think about. Give them the benefit of our experience Give them something e x tra to think about. Rob is metro copy editor who began writing sports in high school and started work i ng as a sports correspondent. He is called the Dr of Style because of famil i arity and knowledge of the Associated Press Reporters Style book which contains rules on word structure terms phrases and punctuation I t' s an interesting story how I got the tit l e," Rob said All of us watch wrestling here on Saturday One Saturday there was a wrestling manager who kept calling himself the Doctor of Style and then Kyle turned around with a style question for me and he said let me ask y ou doctor of style and it sort of stuck It's an inside joke and because I put together the Conservator s style book for sports about six years ago So that probably helped a little too With regards to sports coverage of women athletes Rob told me : I think it s a perceived lack of interest by the public I ve covered girls soccer games where my brother and I were there and we looked in the stands and there might have been two people These girls played their hearts out. Take for e x ample one year I covered a girls team that was 26-0 They broke the clock on four teams. As they started winning the word of mouth i n the school started getting people in the stands Of course the coverage started to 154

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reflect that. It started getting on the front page. The winning does help there is no getting around that. I think women s sports has a higher mountain to climb as far as that goes. They have to win more consistently then the guys team does because, I don t why, because they just do. I suppose It might be all us male copy editors and assignment editors who have been here for 20 or 30 years. Maybe if there were more women on the desk or in the decision-making process that might make a difference I don t know." Rob said many men in sport media grew up in households where "mothers" dominated household responsibilities and fathers handled the responsibilities outside the home He said that stereotype of females and males is alive and well in the minds of many men who make decisions about sport news Anybody that is 30 or over now maybe even 35 or over when they were kids chances are it wasn t a two working parent home situation It was dad who went to work and mom stayed home That was the case in my house until I got older When my brother and I got to be teenagers my mom went out to work She felt we were responsible enough to not kill ourselves But a lot of people who grew up in the 50s and 60s have that Donna Reed Showtype view Things are different now. My kids know that their parents work different shifts to accommodate one of the parents being with them There isn 't always just one person working I m sure that is probably the case a lot more now. A lot more women have gotten out into the workplace and asserted themselves and in positions in the business world that they couldn 't have dreamed of 30 or 35 years ago Perhaps the ne x t generation of copy editors and assignment editors will be mor e open to female athletes because they have seen them compete And we do have some writers h e re, who as far as sensitivity goes are back in the 1950s. We' ve always covered football most with us having a professional team in town. This is a football state We have major universities with football teams Media has not kept up as fast as some women would like. In the media w e are always beholden to th e int e rest level and what sells papers is always a consideration And of course, with sports still being for the most part a male readership I think I could be wrong it is still bas e ball football basketball ... I 1 5 5

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think a lot of times we gauge interest by attendance. Of course we've always heard the argument "if you promote it more we d get more people out there and our response is always," we'll were not here to just sell your tickets we are here to report the news If in fact you are doing well and we report that that s naturally going to create interest. But I laugh at the thought that they are putting the onus on us to create interest for the sports as far as getting people in the seats I don t think it is a competition question because the competition has gotten better. Some assignment editors are going to say How much interest is there in this? The one variable is how well attended is something Some times it would be better as opposed to a game, is it better to run a feature about an interesting player. You can use that as a trailer into the game Sometimes a good feature like that will create some interest. A lot is budgetary from the schools too. How much money do they allocate to the girls sports? If it s a money thing they are going to allocate the most money to the programs that generate the most money. That still is football and bask e tball. I think as far as girls and women s sports, it's certainly a lot better now than it was when I started covering sports That was 15 years ago You have more people who are interested i n it. More parents come out. There are certainly better teams I r e member back around 1982 for example I think Dee Bea c h High School was coming off the state championships season and th ey had a tremendous defense They called it a diamond press Th e y were just outstanding. They were well oiled and as good as any guys t ea m you ever wanted to see And they were just blowing girls away Now I would think there would be more teams that would be able to break that and co mpete with it. I think we have come along a lot farther as far as women and sports. An interview with Frank a veteran sports writer with another media company provides an illustration that disputes the attendance argument. Frank has more than 20 years of experience writing news and sport news and has covered high school college and professional sports f ro m the Olympic games to the World Series and the Super Bowl. A few years ago the organizers of the NCAA women's tournament decided to hold their final four tournament in the same city (1989 156

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Seattle-Tacoma) as the NCAA men s tournament in the hopes of drawing more attention from media The tournament games were played on different days so there weren t any conflicts in game schedules. The women s tournament organizers even provided transportation for the media to their tournament site They got just a handful of media from the men s tournament to go over to the women's tournament, which was a sellout. The women didn 't need the men to fill up the stadium; they were simply trying to get the media there The fans showed up the media didn 't. Since that year the women have not held their tournament in the same city as the men ." Franks interview shows that even when attendance at female athletic events reaches the level of male athletic events media have been slow to respond My experiences at The Daily Conservator re vea l that the attendance argument is generally supported by staunch advocates of college football. A number of my colleagues have taken personal umbrage when a court decision announcing a Title IX victory reached The Daily Conservator via the Associated Press news wire I have heard colleagues respond with statements such as The feminist and men-hating feminazis are trying to destroy college football. Ironically, attendance at high school football games in the Conservator's coverage area is dismal compared with other parts of the country When I worked for The Sun in the Southwest Friday night high school football games averaged just under 2 000 --all sellouts During my first season covering high school football for the Conservator I we nt to a game where there were less than 200 people in attendance at kickoff time Attendance for the game reached a maximum of about 450 When I offered that information to my editor he argued The 450 people at that game still out-draws the 70 people that attend the 157

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average volleyball match." In the county where The Daily ConseNator is located in five years of covering high school football I have never gone to a game that was a sellout. The football advocates also state that the game brings in the money to support the other sports Easy my former editor, said he thinks the coverage of women s sports has improved during the past four or five years and that sports editors are trying to expand their readership base by getting more women to read the sports section. He said the seasonal nature of sports plays a significant role in men garnering the vast majority of sports coverage. He said there are times during the year, especially during the summer when there are no women s sports involved in major events. (This interview was done before the formation of the WNBA which plays its season during the summer starting in 1997) However he added ultimately any further improvement will have to come from editors who make a conscious decision to increase news coverage At least twice in the last six months the paper that I work for (Progressor) ha s had sports sections where there were no pictures of women. I think if you ask the people on our desk about it it s not a conscious decision. It's a subconscious thing that happens without them even realizing it. And I point out to you that on occasions we have as many as five women working on our copy desk. I can t say who was working those nights Once during the Olympics Games our entire desk including interns were women I don t think decision making is totally subjective All editors use a number of ways to gauge what the readership is interested in There may be surveys telephone calls from the public about a particular event and attendance at certain events." Easy said sports editors are not in a position to say. This is a sport people should be reading about" and then put it on the front page That he said 158

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would be a disservice to the readers. He said to overcome the traditional approaches to sports coverage, some proactive steps must be taken including a diverse news staff. He said the lack of diversity within newsrooms will be the undoing of newspapers because readership will suffer. People who are attracted to sports journalism are fans The vast majority of men who are sports writers their initial interest was in men s sports the most popular sports. But those who are trying to make it in the business and those who continue to be a success know they have to do a good job whether they are covering a men s event or a women's event. Men s football and baseball have been ingrained in our soc i ety [Change] starts with the sports editor or the person in charge of the section. The editor may be a huge football fan but he or she has to recognize that there are fans of many different sports among the potential readership You have to have a diverse section to attract those readers. How much that is accepted among the entire sports staff is determined by how much that sports editor emphasize his or her philosophy I d say here at The Progressor there is a conscious effort to diversify our section and not just in t e rms of men s sports vs women s sports but in terms of those sports that are not among what we d call the big four -football, baseball basketball and hockey. It has to be a conscious effort to give attention to other sports. But at the same time you can t ignore what the majority of your readers are interested in. We have to retain the readers who are interested in the main sports and at the same tim e diversify our sections to attract new r eaders." The attendance argument has still another shortcoming It doesn 't hold steadfast when coverage struggles are fought male-sport to male-sport The following example shows that coverage is di c tated by perceptions and judgments The following letter -t o-the editor complains about the amount of coverage the local professional soccer team gets compared to the local Division I college basketball team. The University basketball gets twice th e coverage that the Kickers 159

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do in your newspaper and at least triple the coverage on local sports radio Yet the facts show that over two seasons the Kickers are averaging more than 11 ,400 fans per game and the University s team isn't even close to half that mark And it doesn't even rain in their gym If you don't send a MLS (Major League Soccer) knowledgeable beat writer to cover the Kickers on the road next year I'm dropping my subscription. Otherwise, I sincerely enjoy the sports section." I asked Ryan the Kickers beat writer at the Conservator if the attendance figure was correct. He said the Kickers offic i al average attendance the previous season was 11, 333 The University men s basketball team had 4 318 in a Saturday night game bo x score that I checked after talking to Ryan The figure is better than average attendance for the University team Ryan said editors have told him the University men s basketball team coverage is based upon a commitment to cover Division I college basketball That commitment is based upon a social construction of sports appeal. He said : "We give the University basketball a break because it s Division I basketball and in a pretty good conference. I heard an editor say covering them is the right thing to do At The Progressor they cover women s sports because it's the right thing to do It s an interesting argument but who is to say we shouldn t do the right thing with soccer Soccer has an incredible participation rate around the country I think it's still considered a foreign sport I didn t grow up playing it. I knew nothing about it until I went overseas and saw it on another level Soccer fans here are pretty vocal about the discrepancy in coverage I think they are ticked off This has been going on for a while The MLS deserve better coverage I don t think we 'll get better coverage I think there still is a bias against it. The editors say it's the same 10 people calling in (complaining). That really isn't the case When I talked to a writer from New England he said his editor is into soccer. And that really helps If our editors were into soccer the coverage would defin i tely be better 1 think they do a good job of trying to balance stuff but you can t be totally unbiased But it is a bias." 160

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A second argument against increased news coverage of female athletics c enters on the level of competition I have heard a number of sports writers and editors including some not employed by The Daily Conservator say that females aren t as compet i t i ve as males and therefore don t need to be covered as earnestly During my nine years of employment at the Conservator a local high school girls volleyball team has won a state t i t l e each year In fact two local private schools have won state titles every year since 1980 and have won c o i nc i d i ng state titles the years they didn t have to face each other in state playoffs competition During a five-year period the schools went undefeated against state competit i on los i n g matches only to each other -and were ranked among the top schools in the nation In contrast only one high school football team in the co v erage area won a state title and that school is l ocated in an outlying county Yet for every inch of volleyball coverage there are nearly 20 for football One of the most interest i ng pract i ces I have seen at The Daily Conservator occurs at the start of each football season when reporters are required to set appointments with staff photographers so that every boy in the local county who puts on a vars i ty football un i form gets a head-to-waist photograph ( headshot or mug ) made One of the teams I was required to do this for went nearly three seasons without winning a game When I complained that this practice was a waste of time and money because we used on the average of two or three of the photos per team during the season I was told that the practice had been adopted years ago and didn't need to be questioned or 161

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modified. The justification is tantamount to "it s just the way things are." When I asked if I could do the same for the two private school volleyball teams, who had won a combined 16 consecutive state titles my editor dismissed the request without a discussion. Few of the male sports writers and editors I know really understand the game of volleyball beyond the basics. One of the state universities that has an outstanding football team also has an outstanding volleyball team that has been to the NCAA Final Four four times in the past seven years. The Conservator has never sent a staff reporter to cover the Final Four event. The sports department executive editor said no reporter including the beat reporter has ever requested to go Yet, when the school s football team plays in bowl games or for the national championship there is no shortage of Conservator reporters on hand to document the events. During a discussion about the volleyball knowledge deficit among writers and editors one editor told me that though he only had covered one or two volleyball matches during his career he fe lt confident he could go out and cover a match and write a decent game story. Most Conservator sports writers can write a basic or acceptable game story from a volleyball match but I contend the same quality of writing would not be acceptable long term for writing about football. A basic or acceptable volleyball game story can be written by simply getting the final statistics which include the score and the players who record the most kills blocks service aces and assists More advanced levels of writing will include match or game strategy competition nuances lik e height and 162

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speed advantages and kill and hitting percentages that reflect the total number of kills in relationship to total kill attempts For example, a volleyball game story that states that a player recorded a seasonand match-high 12 kills in a match to lead her team to victory, has a different spin than a story that states the same player had 12 kills but 60 kill attempts. I think that one has to develop a sense and knowledge of the sport to begin to incorporate those kinds of advanced nuances into game stories During the football season writers are constantly reminded they should not recap the final statistics in their game stories but rather should look for the nuances necessary to write on an advanced level. When a local college volleyball team was playing for a national championship the same editor denied my request to cover the event. This refusal illustrates that the collective interest in a sport by reporters and editors determines how news gets played in the media which has little to do with public demand or level of competition Mike is a county editor like Bernard He supervises five reporters and reports to Jim just like Bernard. But unlike Bernard Mike has made an effort to increase coverage of female athletes in his county. He said that effort has been met with resistance from "higher ups." A couple of years ago when the women went to the elite eight I made a pitch to go cover it but I was told to just get a phone call in There are women s events that we ve promoted strong where we ve played them up big Part of it is this is the way we ve done it in the past. Part of it financial part of it workload part of it is interest. I would have the freedom to say I could go cover the women. Part of it is me. There are various reason All it would take is a half dozen phone calls from people saying we want more 163

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coverage of women, then we d do it. I say all of this from the perspective of being married to a woman who is an athletic director and a daughter who plays sports My wife is pretty involved in gender equity Media is going to look at attendance Some editors look at attendance as one more thing they have to deal with We have a high school writer who covers the boys and girls equally It wasn't always the case." The another argument put forth by some ConseNator writers and editors who oppose i ncreased coverage of girls and women s sports centers on readership surveys The latest ConseNator (1997) survey supports the contention that the demand for increased coverage of female sports in not there The survey revea l s little demand from readers for increased coverage in women s college basketball and volleyball compared with college football and men s basketball. For example the survey revealed that 21 percent of the respondents said there was not enough football 17 percent sa i d there was not enough men s basketball and 19 percent not enough baseball Only 10 percent said there was not enough volleyball and nine percent said not enough women's basketball. In the too-much category si x percent said there was too much football seven percent said too much men s basketball but 13 percent said there was too much women's basketball. The survey was unscientific because it surveyed only people who currently read the sports section The survey was published in the sports sect io n of the newspaper and asked readers to send in their responses. It did not survey people who no longer bother to read the sports section for whatever reason 164

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Table No .5 College Coverage by Sports Not Enough Bit More Just Right Bit Less Too Much Football 21% 28% 38% 6% 6% Men s 17% 30% 39% 6% 7% Basketball Women's 9% 26% 38% 14 % 13 % Basketball Baseball 19% 29% 37% 6% 9% Softball 8% 28% 42 % 12 % 10% Volleyball 10% 28% 44% 9% 9% Soccer 14% 25% 38% 11% 13% Other 11% 28% 51% 3% 8% Sports Easy said there is a greater demand from the public for men's sports That demand, he said is socially conditioned Nonetheless he added, it doesn 't excuse the current lops ided coverage now com ing out of sport media. He said much of th e news gap is a product of incorrect decision making by editors who don t see the need to incr ease coverage of female athletes For example o n e Friday night during the football season ther e were 19 games scheduled to be played in the Co nservator's local area. Conservator prep ed itors scrambled to cover all 19 games. E very available staff writer and stringer from th e coverage area was summoned to duty. Y et seven weeks lat e r when there were seven volleyball playoff sites in the Conservator' s coverage area editors made an effo rt to staff just three sites and told reporters to ask local voll e yball coaches to 165

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call in scores and match summaries from the remaining sites That practice is not limited to the Conservator It' s done statewide Last year when six regional volleyball playoff sites involving teams from the Conservator s coverage area were scattered around the state the Conservator' s prep editor called six other newspapers trying to get stringers for coverage Only one newspaper planned to send a reporter to cover volleyball. The other five said they couldn t cover volleyball because it 's a Friday night and all available reporters are assigned to football games," the editor said in frustration Regular season football games mean more than playoff volleyball." Masculinity in Sport Media It was just before noon the time when the regional sports copy editors begin to filter into the Conservator 's downtown office for the start of their shifts The regional sports copy editors la y out the pages for local high school junior college and college sports The metro copy editors start around 5 p.m and work until 1 a .m., handling national college American professional and all international sports Vince a sharp-dressing veteran copy editor with an alleged penchant for betting on dog and h o r se races is one of the last t o arrive. On th e way to his desk Vin ce stops a t th e copy chief's desk to pick up his pages and engage in some small talk. Vin ce is sociable and popular among his colleagues He knows his sports and has a cool head under deadline pressure Things are slow right now because most of th e writers are just filing stories from around the county a nd advertisement space isn t known Starting a layout now would be a 166

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waste of time because advertisement gets priority over news copy Vince makes one more stop at Craig s desk to engage in more small talk "Did you see the game last night? Vince asked I should have gone to bed but I stayed up and watched the whole thing What a waste of time. While Craig is giving Vince his take on the game Vince picks up a photograph off Craig s desk It's a photograph of a local high school volleyball player whom I have written about on numerous occasions Ah a dyke with a spike," Vince comments. It brought light laughter from some of his colleagues all of whom are males I couldn 't understand the reason behind the comment. The athlete is 6-foot-2 has startling facial features and worked as a fashion model in New York and Miami during her sophomore year in high school. Without a volleyball uniform she easily fits the Anglo-American ideal of beauty She chose volleyball over modeling and received an athlet i c scholarship and was a starter on a respected and talented Division I College volleyball team. I asked Vince why he called the girl a dyke He responded : Everybody knows that most girls who play sports aren't real girls. They wannabe men or be like men." I have not seen any social science evidence to support Vinc e's contention that lesbians want to me men No one disputed Vince's comments even though several staff members are fathers of daughters. One copy editor has a daughter who plays high school softball. He said he knows that there are lesbians playing sports but he knows that most girls are heterosexual. But on this day h e doesn 't speak up to dispute Vince s commentary. I think it s just part of his easy-going nature and 167

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personality Some time later I reminded him of the incident. I asked him why he didn t respond to Vince s comment. He looked uncomfortable while answering There are some but most girls are not," he said Then there was an extended pause and silence Clearly this was not something he wanted to talk about even though we were a discreet distance from our nearest colleague I changed the subject and asked how his daughter was doing in college He left me with the impression that this was not his battle. He has to work with these men so why not live and let live This over-privilege of resource usage can be seen in domains such as politics economics and education as well as sport "Hierarchy as a concept, is a cornerstone of the sporting ethos Thus the traits of strength aggression competitiveness and leadership capabilities can be played practiced and displayed in athletic areas as an exercise of symbolic power where strategy chance and skill merit a difference" (Gruneau 1975 : 129) As Rob stated in his interview the socialization process for many men in sport media took place during a time when women had few roles in public sport Thus some men are having a difficult time adjusting to increased participation rates by female athletes Since there are few role models of men in decision-making positions challenging existing gender stereotypes their inclinations are to follow traditional agendas and notions As noted earlier advertisement space has priority over news copy Revenue from advertising (Coakley 1998) is often the lifeblood of a news 168

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publication Thus news copy is designed around advertisement on selected news pages The sports section is a favorite locale for adult entertainment ads On some days they can take up as much as half of the page precluding timely news stories from being published and frustrating copy editors who are aware of the newsworthy time constraints of some news stories. I witnessed several copy editors request that ads be delayed or repositioned so that important news stories could be published Their requests were rarely granted and they were reminded that ads could be pulled or repositioned only in critical situations The adult ads by virtue of their sexually explicit nature present an additional problem for some female athletes For example, I wrote a feature story about a female high school athletes that was published on a page with several large adult entertainment ads The parents of the athlete called me say they appreciated the news coverage then asked if the article had been published on a different page in an earlier or later edition or perhaps in different zone The parents wanted to clip the art i cle and send it to friends and relatives but said they felt uncomfortable doing so with the easily identifiable ads that featured exotic dancers X-rated videos and movies sexy lingerie massage parlors and 800 telephone numbers for call-in sex talk lines. The design and layout of the article and accompanying photograph of the athlete made it impossible to neatly clip around the adult entertainment ads In most major North American newspapers sports sections are among the most widely read parts of the newspaper According to Coakley (1998) more 169

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daily coverage is given to sports than to any other single topic of interest including business or politics The percentage of newsprint g i ven to sports has grown from 9% in 1900 to 17% in 1975 Coakley wrote : "In a detailed study of The Chicago Tribune between 1900 and 1975 Janet Lever and Stan Wheeler (1984) found that sports coverage became an increasing significant part of this newspaper during those years ( Coakley 1998 : 375). Many newspapers (Coake l y 1998 ) depend on sports for advertising revenues as well as for general subscriptions a n d sales Coakley estimates that if sports se c tions were eliminated newspaper sales would go down 30 percent along w i th the advertising revenues tied to circulation He wrote : Additionally the sports section attracts advertisers who might not put ad in other sections of the paper Advertisers know that if they want reach young to middle-aged males with average or above-average incomes they should place their ads i n the sports section This i s an attractive prospect for bus i nesses that sel l t i res automobile supplies new cares car leases a i rline tickets for business tra v elers alcoholi c bev e rages power tools building supplies sporting goods hair growth products and even steroids. Other advertisers may be clinics and doctors specializing in treating impotence or providing testosterone and other hormone therapies bars or clubs providing naked or near na k ed female models and dancers and organizations offering gambling opportunities (see a sample of major-city newspapers to conf irm this ) Ads for a l l these products and serv i ces generate cons i derable income for newspapers ( Coakley 1998 : 376) 170

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Male Domination Sabo and Jansen ( 1992) contend that sports were designed as an exclusive male domain Mediated sports is an extension of that domain Sports departments are generally dominated by males There is a range of overt to covert signs of masculinity-machismo that governs department comportment and affects news decisions while shaping what kinds of males dominate the departments. Those who do not fit the highly machismo-charged models of masculinity traditionally associated with sport oftentimes find themselves marginalized in office social circles For it is within sport media where masculinity is celebrated and naturalized. Other and femininity (Tong 1989) are regarded as unimportant and trivialized Boys will be boys stories about getting drunk and passing out after office bachelor parties circulate for weeks at a t i me Craig (1992) wrote that in modern American culture, men are expected to participate in and support patriarchy where traditional characteristics of masculinity are made to seem so correct and natural that the dominance and exploitation of women and other men is to be not only expected, but demanded. "Men who find it difficult or objectionable to fit into the patterns of traditional masculinity often find themselves castigated and alienated" (Craig 1992 :3). The traditional masculinity-driven alienation that Craig refers to takes place not only among colleagues but among news sources as well. For example the Conservator published a package of stories about gay athletes and it generally made some journalists uncomfortab le No one had or admitted to 171

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having available sources or contacts leading to sources for the story. I was able to jump-start the project with sources from a colleague who is an editor in the features department the Women s Sports Foundation and two former Con seNator employees who are active in the local human rights movement. The lead writer for the project was never comfortable with the subject matter and did minium reporting and no interviews with gay athletes I overheard him talking to another reporter about his anxiety and how difficult it was to approach local professional football players for interviews During a story conference I offered to loan him copies of Out and Advocate" magazines that I had gotten from the features department editor He graciously accepted the material which had special sections on the Gay Games but he left my desk saying: I d better put these away I don't want anybody to see me with them." Interestingly much of his story presented to a feature s department copy editor was plagiarized from the two magazines Again I think most men in the ConseNator's sports department fit into sociologist's Don Sabo s bystander ca tegory There are very few rebels and just e nough perpetrators whose sexist and misogynist views and opinions are se ldom challenged. For examp le during late September I found a personal ad in the ConseNator from a GWM (gay white male) looking for a partner. Out of curiosity I showed it to Davis one of the senior writers in the department. Davis is in his early 40s and is a "local boy He is an outspoken critic of gender equity and a staunch supporter of college football as the status quo flag-ship of college 172

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athletics As part of the GWM s description of h i mself he wrote that he was new to the area and also a football coach After reading the ad Davis commented : "It's no big deal everyone knows that there are faggots in all walks of life It's an accepted thing ." I criticized Davis for his choice of words He cynically apologized. After a moment of reflection he replied: "Well he's obviously not a very good coach I asked Davis how he could make that observation without knowing the man or his qualifications "He just isn't Davis said Dav is' opposition to gender equity centers around what he calls non revenue sports vs. revenue sports He said a lot of women fem i nists and gender equity advocates are using gender equity as a means to undermine college football. "It's just a disguise," he said "They want to destroy college football. Davis is by far the most radical opponent of gender equity on the Conservator's sports staff He also has some strong opinions about diversity in the workplace particularly when it comes to females When I asked him whether there should be more women on the sports staff he said As long as they don't try to change the way the traditional sports are covered it's fine Channels of Influence While Davis is among the most staunch supporters of traditional sport coverage, his range of influence is limited by his position As a general assignment reporter he doesn t have suff ici ent power or authority to turn his perspective into policy My editor Bernard does have authority In his pos i tion as a county editor he assigns sports cove rage to as many as eight reporters 173

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including myself Bernard reports directly to Jim the State Sports editor who coordinates prep sports news coverage from four county editors Berna rd respectfully declined to be interviewed for this research project but my field notes and written documentation provide some insights into how an editor who opposes increased cove rage of female athletics can effectively discou rage subordinates. For example during my yearly evaluation process Bernard cri t icized me for tak ing the initiative to cover female athletes but not male athletes Not withstanding my advocacy I was assigned to cover girls sportsvolleyball basketball softballas a beat. Thus, it was necessary to spend the majority of my time interviewing female athletes and their coaches Non etheless h e wrote : Walter is good about suggesting new projects and ideas He cons istentl y makes the Conservator ask itself if it has an equal amount of coverage to female sports His knowledge and focus in this area has increased the State Sports and Metro Sp orts staffs awareness and made these sections more accessible and readable to an increased audience Walter will always seek additional responsibility if it means report ing on a female sport However he sometimes doesn t show the same enthusiasm if it concerns a male-oriented sport Walter is good about helping other staffers with group projects when needed. I asked Bernard if any staff writers were cited on their evaluations for not showing the same enthusiasm for female sports as male sports He said he didn t understand the connection He said it wasn t a relevant issue then dism issed any further questions In effect Bernard internalized what Saba and Jensen (1992) call a gender order and naturalized the notion that sport media shou ld s h ow more enthusiasm for male athletes than female athletes As an 174

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editor with direct supervision of eight reporters he has turned that perspective into policy When I complained to his superiors, Jim and John both said they would talk to him about it. Yet two years later after Bernard was promoted to college sports editor I found the same anti-female perspectives in his work and attitude For example a ConseNator subscriber called the newspaper and left a message for me to return his call. He said he was a supporter of a state college women s basketball program and wondered why it had not been featured in the college basketball preview section Bernard is in charge of the section I called Bernard to pass along the inquiry There wasn t enough room he stated I began to tel l Bernard that the caller reminded me that the women s team also had several local players and thus had a substantial following But before I could initiate that part of the conversation Bernard hung up the phone Bernard now puts together a weekly Saturday section on college basketball. In the section he writes a column called Colleg i ans." For two entire basketball seasons there ha ve been no female basketball players mentioned in his column Not even University of Tennessee All-American Chamique Holdclaw who has been dubbed the female equivalent to NBA star Michael Jordan was worthy of mention during her junior and senior seasons of college basketball. What sport media do according to Hargreaves (1986) is construct a preferred view of the social world by naturalizing it. Yet he writes it is no more or no less natu ral than any other activity in which we indulge in collectively -it is socially cons tructed Harg reaves says media professionals claims of reporting 175

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impartially on reality or merely conveying to the audience what really happened will not hold up to an examination of the media treatment of sport. Sporting events undergo a transformation when they are presented in the media: What appears on the screen and in the press and comes across on radio is not what the spectator or performer at the event experiences Media sport does not just present the world as it is already constructed -it re presents the world in terms of its own inferential framework and thus creates events with their own features-media events Sports journalists and editorial staff select from rank classify and elaborate the world of sport in terms of a 'stock of knowledge' as to what constitutes sports news" ( Hargreaves 1986 :141 ) An editor who turns a biased perspective into policy makes it difficult for subordinates who don't share the same perspective to function More specifically an editor who turns gender bias perspective into policy makes it difficult not only for news about female athletes to get into the newspaper but also for non-traditional-thinking sports writers to funct i on as equals with traditiona l -thinking sports writers An interview with Chuck a senior sports writer/editor with 22 years of experience 10 at the ConseNator reveals how traditional sport journalists and non-traditional sport journalists clash within the sport media environment. Chuck calls himself a non-traditional sports writer. He said he has not wrapped his life around sports Thu s he has faced the al i enation process. He said he didn t cons i der himself the typical jo c k but he played sports and especially enjoyed baseball. 176

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" I was one of those guys who absorbed a lot of things about the game I wasn t all that good but I enjoyed doing it. I was always weird When the first black family moved into the neighborhood I was the only kid on the block to go over to the people s house and introduce myself Why? Because they had a kid my age and he was a good athlete All the other parents on the block would keep their kids away. A typical jock is someone who can 't grow out of adolescence and continues into their late 20s and early 30s palling with the guys, not realizing that gambling and playing sports every free moment is not something you should do for the rest of your life There are other life responsibilities. I'm not typical because I don 't spend all Saturday and Sunday in front of the tube going buggy watching games I mean, I love baseball but we don't even have cable I follow the game As I get older it's not an all consuming passion in my life. It was when I was 18 It waned somewhat in my late 20s But once you get married and have a family you realize there is more important stuff How does that relate to people at the Conservator in the sports department? I've never worked with guys who haven 't grown up yet like with this bunch. I 'll leave it at that. I think it s pretty typical around the country These are the people who give sports journalism a bad name The best journalists who I ve ever met are sports journalists who have a greater perspective on life. Our former sports editor was like that. He was a sports editor but h e realized the importance of family and that sometimes what happened outside th e job could affect you on the job and he was a very good person to talk to I ve worked with guys who were like mama s boys and all they ever did was sit aro und and watch games Th ey got into th e media because they weren't good enough to play sports so they still had that fantasy of being out there when they were covering a game. For them it's a connection t o a chi ldh ood fantasy ." Female Perspectives In general, sports staffs are made up of people who have a keen interest in sports. Males and females alike hold day-long discussion and dialectical analysis of local and national sports events from football and basketball to tennis and gymnastics M any of the discussions are genuinely funny especially those involving alma maters For example two of my co lleagues were arguing about 177

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who had the better football programPenn State or the Un ive rsity of Florida. During this decade both schools have been among the nation s top-five highpowered programs I llinois my alma mater has squeaked into the top 25 once or twice but is not considered a national power But I enter the fray just the same, spouting the virtues of the F ighting ll lini. Both men stopped and stared at me Then one replied : Hey man look here we are getting ready to have a gun fight and you have the nerve to show up with a knife What are you suicidal? L ighter moments like this have made working in sport media enjoyable Overall though men's sports garners the bulk of the conversation and attention. Traditional masculine comportment also dominates the social dynamics of the newsroom. F or example, during an annual Conservator sports department staff meeting that include s all writers editors and correspondents a sen ior editor prefaced his state of the department remarks w i th some comments about his hea l th. He said : There are some rumors going around about me retiring They are premature and not true I ve had a few health prob lems but I m getting better Now some of you l ook at me and say I look fine on the outside but on the inside I m feeling bad Of course if it were the other way around and I looked bad on the outside but felt good on the inside well then I d be a vagina." The joke stunned the staff I nitially there was absolute silence Then a few snickers of disbel i ef. A sort of a release of tension because there were as many as five women in attendance After the three-hour meeting ended the vagina analogy was the talk of the department and it cont i nued for days I don t believe he said that," one ma le colleague said half-laughing half-serious I just don t 1 78

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believe he said it." Some of the women in the department were stunned One female said there was no need to get riled up about it. After all he s the head man, who are you going to complain to and keep your job?" The historical record will show that women working in sport media have always toiled under traditional masculine behavior paradigms [A chronology of locker room access and incident is presented in Appendix 2 ] For example at the Conservator, a number of female colleagues have complained that they have been chastised by male peers for not answering the telephone The complaint was aimed particularly at my editor Bernard who has chided female colleagues a number of times for not answering the telephone when he was free to do so. He thinks I'm supposed to be his secretary," said Racheal, who worked as a temporary clerk in the sports department. I m responsible for sorting the mail and doing John s administrative duties I don 't mind answering the telephone but just because he [Bernard] doesn t want to be disturbed from watching a game on television doesn 't mean I should have to answer a telephone that sitting right in front of him." In another situation female clerks from the main newsroom refused to perform clerical duties in the sports department. They said they felt uncomfortable and threatened because several men leered at them every time they walked through the sports department. The clerks were all in their late teens or early 20s and college students working part time "It' s scary to go over there ,"' one clerk said They don 't talk to you They treat you like you re dirt 179

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sometimes One guy just hands me a layout sheet. He never even looked up He said Hey you take this one too.' They can run their own copy Ranee is the sports department's clerk and the female who spends the most time in the ConseNator s main office. Her duties include handling most office correspondence ordering supplies and basically managing the day-to-day operations and logistics of the sports department. Ranee is in her mid-20s and a college graduate with aspirations to be a sports writer She said she has learned to deal with the overt as well as the covert gender bias in the office. But Ranee is more than a clerk She is editor/writer of a weekly sports section that focuses on youth sports and she covers prep sports as needed. Her ambition is to become part of management in the future She is a graduate of one of the state universities and participated in ath letics from the time she was a child Recently Ranee was the only female at a sports department meeting held to discuss ways to attract new female readers. When asked about the need for more women in the department she said: "It would be interesting to see how this department would function with more females. But we don't have to have women working in sports to write about women M en can do it. There are a lot of things men can write about that would interest women It's not the writers it's subjects that are important. I think it would be demeaning for women to only write about women's sports Women want to be able to write about any sports not just women Ranee said that things are slowly chang ing in the ConseNator sports department. She said that her approach to making changes involves fighting for issues when necessary and using gentle persuasion at other times She believes 180

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there is merit i n going along to get along ." It doesn't help to get upset over every issue she said It would be like crying wolf all the time When there really was a wolf and you needed help nobody would l i sten Michelle worked as a correspondent for a year a part-time writer for a year and as a copy editor for two years before leaving sports for a news department position during the summer She's in her mid-30s holds a master's degree i n communicat i on and has a d i fferent opinion about sports department behav io r I think the diplomat ic approach is fine but I think the ConseNator s management wants a Mart in Luther King approach and with me it's a Malcolm X approach I see Ranee's approach as a gutless way to make changes Some people want to be liked first. I don't. You must stand up for what you think is right and that takes courage. I have not seen much of that at the ConseNafor I think choosing your battles is a sellout. The times I fought battles I saw noticeable changes I saw some changes in the paper after that kind of fight. This makes the midpoint more palatable You sacrifice yourself I like the role of revolutionary and I'm good at it. It's needed in any movement. As an opened-ended question I asked Michelle to describe the work environment in the sports department. She replied Hostile." I th i nk women are perceived as a threat. Sports is the last territory of male bonding It's an overall perception on my part For example I was asked to read a story written by a male writer and after making co mments on the story I was confronted in a hostile manner due i n part to my being a female Just the undercurrent. innuendoes and the things said in off-the cuff remarks contribute to the perception on hostility." I had breakfast with Meghan on a Friday morning in late September Meghan is a 23-year-old copy editor at the ConseNator She was born and 181

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raised in the ConseNator's coverage area. She attended a local junior college before continuing her education at a state university where she honed her skills and desire to be a sports writer As with Michelle and Ranee I asked Maghen about her work experiences. I worked for the student newspaper ... writing about government and cops I watched the guys in sports having fun. I noticed there were no girls. But I saw they were having fun with their writing They were a close-knit fun group of guys They hung out together I got hooked on sports and some of the guys took me under their wings during an internship at the [school newspaper]. One of the guys jokingly called me the 'token blonde.' He said that by having an attractive woman around it makes the paper look more diverse I know what s going on with that and I've tried to use it to my advantage But I've had to ask myself am I getting a job just because I'm female and what does that mean?" Lois is a sports writer in her 30s with seven years of experience She grew up around sport media because her father was a sports broadcaster She said he tried to discourage her from getting into the business because of the things he saw and experienced He said you re crazy to do [sports]. He knows what the climate is like or was at that time for women to get involved in it. He thought that I could do it but he definitely said look just know you re going into a double battle here It' s not just going to be about your job it's going to be c hallenges on top of letting you do your job. I've found that to be true. On my first job at a little paper, it was a very small town and they hadn 't had too many women writing about sports So it was definitely a c hallenge how I was looked at. At first people said things like Does she know what she s doing? ' Why are you sending a girl out to cover our team?' That type of thing I think eventually after I wrote and got to know them and talked with them they ac c epted me pretty good By the time I left there I think they had a pretty good appreciation for how dedicated I was and I don 't think s e x ended up matt e ring so much 182

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Lois was recently promoted to a beat writer for a major beat. A number of the senior writers had a difficult time accepting the promotion and Lois as a peer I asked her if her experiences had improved "Um, I think I ve improved in knowing how to deal with them and head things off before they get to be bad I'm more knowledgeable now in what I'm doing and I'm more confident. There are five or six women across the country all at major papers doing this beat. I think all of us have established ourselves enough that we really haven t had a problem [at event sites]. We may joke about our first experiences and what it was like the first time we met different people who we had to deal with For the most part we really don't sit around and complain We think of different ways we can even help each other out. I would say probably [sport media] is a little intimidating at first just because you are always going to be a minority and you feel like everyone is going to look to see how well you do There are so many women getting in that I really think it's changing I think that oftentimes that it's a problem that we as women perceive that may not really exist to the extent we think it does although it does e x i st. There is no doubt. I think a good day is to be able to sit there and talk about an event or discuss stories and leads and do things on that kind of level. I think the bad of my day is still answering the phone and having people on the other end asking to speak to a sports writer I get five or six of those a week And perhaps different jealousies within the office People thinking that I would get preferential treatment because I'm a woman. Or I ve advanced in my career solely because I was a woman as opposed to my abilities I think there is a certain segment of male people who think like that. A lot of them are older Mayb e it s just th e easiest thing for them And I also believe it's be c ause they are of a different generation that hasn 't quite grasped things It's just an easier rationalization for them especially if perhaps you re competing against them. That you re not better than them you got it be c aus e you re a woman .... There are times there are days where I really do resent it. It's hard enough to go out and do your job with challenges that present you with going and reporting and writing a story That should be what my job is I know that there are office politics and tensions and things in all offices but I resent the fact that I have to prove myself above and beyond. I have to make myself worthy before I'm allowed to do my job That type of thing Every time that I think that I have [proven myself] there will be something that will ... It's interesting I get a lot 183

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more respect from the co-workers who are in the beat with me and around the country than from within the off ice. I get people calling and asking my advice, asking me to help them and things l ike that. I get so much more respect from people that I work with out covering whatever it might be than I do from within the office That is the most frustrating thing." I asked Lois if she thought our office and work environment at the Conservator is typical of sports departments across the country. No! I ve spoken with tons of women about that. Heads don t turn when a woman at another paper was sent to cover the World Series Heads are not going to turn and fall off It' s like cool go for it. At our paper that would be the ta lk I t s the same people who have been there for 20 years And therefore, anyone new that comes in is new and different and not accepted. We' re are just not with it. They make such a big deal out of Oh my gosh we re going to send her to the NFC playoff game Now this is a very big thing do you think you can do it? Do you think you can write it? We re going to be watching.' It s one of those situations instead of, go I don t see that happening every time they [ma les] leave for the road I hope we can eventually get past this." Jackie is in her 30s and majored in broadcast journalism and played all sports and has a l ways enjoyed sports. She covered high school and college sports for six years in the Southwest. For the past two years she has covered professional football for a compet i ng newspaper Jackie said she learned about gender discrimination in sport from experience When I was a freshman in high school we only had one gym By the time I was a junior we had two gyms When I was a freshman we would have go to practice before school at 7 a.m for the girls basketball team When we got two gyms usually we practiced in the old gym which actually was fine with me because the old gym had the wood floors and the new gym had that Tartan turf and I didn t like it. As I recall it was only my senior year that we got shoes Otherwise we had to buy our shoes The boys got shoes I can t remember any problem with the uniforms As far as publicity there was none The only time I really remember having a story 184

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written on us was when we won the d istric t championship my junior year in cross country. I remember how excited we were when the guy came out and interviewed us It was a full story and a picture It was really neat. Otherwise we never got any publicity I would say in 95 percent of the schools in the area the head football coaches do not teach classes and generally they make $75 000 to $80 000 In a lot of instances they get cars provided to them from car dealerships. That s the way it was at my high school. We didn t get very many people at our games mostly parents a few students would come out. Jackie said she re members two instances that were really bad from the point of being a female sports reporter One was when I assigned to do the visiting team s locker room The visiting team was the University of Arkansas. Normally what teams would do is you tell the SID (Sports Informat ion Director) I'm coming to your locker room so be aware so you might want to make some contingency plans. But the Univers ity of Ar kansas let the male beat writers go into the locker room and I had to ask them to try to pull a few p l ayers out for me so I could do interviews W ell there is a backdoor to the locker room and they went out the bac k door I never got one quote I was supposed to write a side bar I didn t get one quote. Fortunately one of the male writers let me listen to h is tape That was the worst of my bad experience." Jackie said she had a problem with a local professional football player who would make inappropriate comments to her during locker room interviews If I n eed to ta lk to somebody in the afternoon generally I l l wait for them to come out of the locker room The player said to me You lik e looking at those penises don't you? You enjoy going in there and loo king at the men? Another female reporter had a similar exper i ence with this same player. The PR director finally talked to him near the end of the season and he was fine from that point on. The male writers told me You ought to say something." I said Hey look I have to deal with the guy It s not like he s some scrub He s the star running back .' You talk to him every week If I go say something he s going to know where it come from and he may never talk to me again. I have to have his comments so you put up with stuff l i ke that. But I know women who paved the way had to go through a lot more th ings then I do The Zeke M owatt and Sam 185

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Wyche inc i dents3 made things better for people like myself Other player have said 'Why are you coming into our locker room? I said to them you need to talk to the NFL if you have a problem It's an NFL rule I have to do my job and that s the only way to do my job." Jackie said she has learned to accept the cat calls in locker rooms and understands the mentality behind them It's their locker room It s their domain. It's where men can be men I think sometimes when female sports writers take it personally sometimes it's not because you are a female its because you come into their world and you don 't belong there I t's an exclusive club and you re not supposed to be in there whether it's Frank or it's me Maybe females are more sensitive to that. Maria works for a med i um s i zed daily newspaper in the Southeast. I met her at a post-season college basketball tournament. She grew up in Colorado and attended college in Montana Maria recently graduated from college but is 25 years old She has done freelance sports writ i ng since she was i n high school and doesn t co ns ider herself a rookie reporter even though this is her f i rst fu lltime sports writing job Mar i a didn t grow up playing organ i zed sports but her father introduced her to sport through his co aching duties 3 My dad coac hed baseball teams when I was younger I lived with my dad. He coached Boys Clubs teams and he needed someone to keep score. I kept the score book from the time I was eight years old I have always loved sports but. I never played I used to watch so many games on television they (paren ts) would regulate the games I watched Football and baseball are my favorite sports During my sen ior year In college I wrote high school sports." In 1990 I .isa Olson o r the Boston Herald was harassed in the locker room by several m e m bers o r the New England Patriots football team i ncluding Zcke Mowatt Michad Timson and Robert Also t h at year, De n ise Tom. US/\ Today sports reporter is barred !rom the CinciiUlati Bcn ga ls' locker room by Coa ch Sam Wyc h e He i s fined $30 000 186

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Maria said she doesn t like women s sports and if given a choice she would much rather cover men s sports But she said she has no problem covering women s sports. She said she knows women s athletics are underreportered I don t like women s sports We are starting to cover them more but there is a long way to go. We' re not even close Where I went to college the women were better than the men so the paper covered them I know other papers that would cover more men than women On my beat I cover men and women equally The men draw more It could be because the women s start games at 5 : 30 and people are still at work I write weekly features about both. Maria said covering women's sports is the least of her concerns She said she simply makes an effort to do it and it gets done It's the only fair thing to do," she said She said covering men s sports is her greatest daily obstacle Maria said she was warned about sexism from male athletes in locker rooms but she said she encounters more sexism from her male colleagues than from athletes. I get along fine with the athletes I was told that the professional athletes would be very sexist. A couple of weeks ago I got called into the office for two hours Another reporter came in and said the coach of the team I cover said two of his players said I m pretty I was lectured by the assistant sports editor about having a professional att i tude What am I supposed to do if the players think I m pretty? They also told me I have to stop wearing skirts That s discrimination There is no office dress policy I am very angry. They question my character and professionalism because a couple of basketball players say I m pretty Yet it's okay for other male beat writers to go out to softball games and make comments about how cute or pretty some of the softball players are. I think that everybody makes issues about women in the locker room I must say the most discrimination I face is from male journalists not from athletes They have a harder time accepting me than the athletes 187

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I ve had a hellish time at work In so many words I was told I would not be going out covering spr i ng tra i ning professional baseball because they don 't want any of the ath l etes hitting on me When I graduated I thought I would have to deal with this from the athletes but not from other journal i sts Not in a m i llion years When I go to the professional baseball games I get treated professional by players The real Lion s Den is the Press Box. I don 't know whether it's jealousy or what. I get looks and hear whispers in the newsroom like I was back in high school. I never had that in the locker room I have been quest i oning whether I want to do this anymore I'm not a rookie. I just graduated from college but I ve been doing th i s for seven years I'v e had to ask myself if I want to continue doing this It has affected how I work They are scared I m dating a co l lege player I'm 25 years old I was in tears when they called me I was in tears I have not deal t with th i s before I was so upset. I wasn t do i ng anything wro n g It was l i ke I was c ommitting a crime." Ranee said that whi l e so much attention is g i ven to se x ism among athletes sexism from sports writers goes unchallenged She said journalists wr i te about how sexist the players are bu t they won t wri t e about how se x ist their co lleagues are Ranee showed me th e press card that she i s issued e v ery year by the l oca l high school at h let i c asso c iat i on The l ine where the reporte r s name is to be written in by each reporter has Mr. typed in already When I go to conferences w i th other female reporters when they tell horror stories about their jobs i t's not about the locker rooms It's about their male co-workers When I interviewed for my job covering professional football half of my interview was about whether I could handle the pressure in the locker room They kept asking me could I do the job because I'm a woman." Sally Jenk i ns of Sports I ll ust r ated was quoted by Cramer ( 1994 ) to say : "Sports rema i ns a bunch of bo y s obse rv ing what a bunch of boys do together My experiences in sport media lead me to believe that because of the mas c uline 188

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design of sport in America there are no safe places, there are no places men can go or be in sport media where they can take a break from the traditional pressures and demands of masculinity It's part of the life-long socialization process that men bring into sport media. As Saba and Jansen (1992) have suggested, the dominate narrative structures in sport media construct and valorize hegemonic masculinity. In the process other forms and expressions of non-hegemonic models of masculinity are marginalized In his opening chapter of, Leaving Home Rutherford (1992) talks about the emerging male support of feminism in the 1960s and 70s and the male journey from traditional lives steeped in misogynist values and patriarchal domination to a more humanistic lifestyle less encumbered by sexual conquest and the psycho dynamics of rigid definitions of masculinity that have kept men prisons of their own emotions. I contend sport media is a place where many males become trapped in socialized machismo comportment creating unnatural adversarial relationships with females. The inability to integrate the sensibilities of maleness and femaleness that make up our world and who we are, prevent many males from developing and appreciating a feminine way of looking at the world. Contextually this one dimensional way of life and living deprives sport-saturated men in American society of a fulfilling human experience It simultaneously denies females a meaningful athletic experience Ironically it is within sport where men in American society are most permitted to integrate their masculine and feminine sides. Male athletes routinely show emotion touch kiss and embrace -all of 189

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which are socially assigned feminine qualities--while engaged in sporting activities Kane and Greendorfer (1994) present a similar argument when they ask if the addition of female athletes to the sports scene meant that the face of American sports had changed. ... we argue that although the presence of women athletes in the media appears to represent fundamental social change that sports women have gained widespread social acceptance-in reality these feminized images represent a modernized attempt to reinforce traditional stereotypical images of femininity and female sexuality ... we also argue that these feminized and sexualized portrayals are simply new variations on very old themes : media images as product or tool of patriarchal oppression of womenand their bodies through an institutionalized socially constructed system of gender roles and values" (Kane and Greendorfer 1994 : 28) 190

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CHAPTER 8 HERSTORY I went to the regional state h igh school activities association volleyball coaches preseason rules meeting in mid-August. I wanted to give area coaches a guide on how to keep volleyball statistics and tell them when and how to report them to me at the ConseNator The previous season I organized and administered the first-ever statewide week ly volleyball poll and got my editor to agree to make space for weekly volleyball statistics alongside the week ly football statistics The first-year response from coaches was marginal so I thought I could boost the participation rate by prompting the coaches before the start of the season Toward the end of the meeting I addressed the participants and asked all local coaches to meet me at the front of the auditorium for a short conference and some handouts As the coaches gathered I recognized one man who was also a local high school boys basketball coach He greeted me with a handshake leaned toward me then whispered in my ear: You know basketba l l is my main thing I m just doing this to fill in some time I m not really looking for stuff to make this complicated. I think the coach automatically saw me as another male who was a part of the traditional sports network From my experiences 1 have found that men involved in sports whether coaches or administrators or journalists assume that all men have traditional values and attitudes toward sports Men entering sport media are often given an informal litmus test which is adm i n iste red through causal conversation about favorite 191

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teams and players Men who fa i l this test by not having basic knowledge of current sport trivia or sport personal i ties are suspected of be i ng poor sport media candidates For example my colleagues at The Daily Conservator suspected that a sports department copy desk ch ief lacked basic sports knowledge and questioned his ability to be in a leadersh i p position at the newspaper They challenged him to name the five starting players on the Ch i cago Bulls 1992 World Championship team "We gave h i m Michael Jordan and Scott i e P i ppen so he only had to name three other players ," a colleague informant said He couldn t name Steve Kerr or Horace Grant or B J Armstrong You can t be in sports and not know that. You just can 't." I told the high school coach I was a supporter of girls sports and that I was at the meeting was to encourage coaches to take a proactive role i n female athlet i cs by keeping weekly statist i cs for female volleyball players and pass i ng them along to the med ia-just like for his boys basketball players What the coach was tell i ng me was that he had no i ntention of putting forth the effort or time required to keep statistics (ki lls assists service aces solo blocks and digs ) for his volleyball players It took nearly three more years and countless phone calls to the coach s athletic director before I ever saw a statistic on one of his volleyball players. Yet each year his basketball players were prominently featured i n our scoring and rebounding l ists Two years later I met a volleyball player from his team who had re ce ntly t r ansferred to another school. Off the record she and her mother told me that dur i ng the volleyball season the coach 192

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would take time away from volleyball practice to spend t i me with his basketball players The boys would be i n the gym p l aying basketball dur i ng voll eyball practice," the athlete said If he saw one of them doing something wrong he would leave us stand i ng by the net while he went and showed the boy how to do it right. He was more interested in what they were doing instead of us There are several other male coaches and one female who do not keep statistics for their female athletes Unl i ke football the lone sport at the Conservator for which reporters are responsible for keeping high school team statistics coaches are the pri mary link to sport media A female basketball coach at a local un iv ers i ty said when female athletes are given inferior coaching and support it s just as damaging as denial of opportunity Title IX doesn t say equal encouragement. The qual i ty of participation is in question The quality of the student-athlete experience is ignored." This chapter looks at the female experience in sport and documents some of the adversities they have endured in order to participate It provides a perspe c t i ve from female athletes and their coaches in the Conservator s coverage area I believe there are correlations between the way sport med i a treats female athletes and the treatment they are accorded by school adm i nistrators parents teache r s coaches and policy makers Key informant interviews provide test i mony that i n ferior news coverage of female ath l etes may have a c ause-and-effe ct relationship with denied opportunity inadequate f aci lities and equipment and lack of encouragement. Many of the discussions 193

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center around gender role expectations and gender role acceptance A ndi Saioa and Anne The three teenage informants -Andi Saioa and Anne had just completed high school. Saioa and An ne were basketball players who were both named to the Conservator's all-county team. Saioa is the county s all-time career scoring leader with 1 857 points Andi is a softball player and the Conservator s Player of the Year her junior season Andi played baseball before she played softba l l because h e r brother who is 1 7 months older p layed She said she grew up at the baseball park I was the little girl there without a shirt M y brother didn t have a shirt on so why did I have to have a shirt on? That was me. Whatever he did I tried to do better." Saioa said her father, who is a professional ath l ete encouraged and pushed her to play sports. Andi and Saioa were headed to college on athletic scholarships Anne is attending a university that doesn t offer athletic scholarships All three have known each other since fourth grade and have competed in sports since age five and six We met o n e summer afternoon at Anne s family home where the girls spent some of their hang-out time On one occasion Anne s moth er briefly joined the discussion prompting the girls memories of certain events and instances. I asked them if they could say something to sport media managers about news coverage what would that message be: (Andi) The y are making or breaking women s sports What you put in the paper is what people read If you say so-and-so is great then they 'll go and watch him Otherwise they don t know The media makes or breaks people s decisions about women s sports 194

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(Anne) And they know it too. P eople read the paper, people watch TV. If I didn't know anything about anyone and the next th ing I saw was some hero on TV that saves someone's l if e I suddenly believe it and I didn t even know this person But all of a sudden t hey are great in my eyes because the media said so. (Saioa) Th e media is pretty much the link between the athlete and the people who go and watch the games. (An ne) Michael Jordan could be good but if the media didn t cover him it wouldn 't matter. He wouldn t be making millions a year. (Saioa) H e'd be great in Chicago but nobody in Florida would know about him (Anne) They influence people so much. Yeah maybe right now society doesn t want to read about women s sports but they don t even get the opportunity to see what to read about. Until you print something you are not going to even see it. (Saioa) It' s also where you put it where you locate it. It' s (women s sports) always after the guys in small little print. Switch it. One day have it for guys. Bottom line is, what you see first is what you re going to read (And i ) If everyth ing on the first page of the sports page is all about guys it s all you see when you flip up as you're rush ing to work E very th ing on the front page is about guys If I didn 't have time to read the paper I'm going to glance at the top of the sports page or glance at the front page If all you see is something about guys you won t even realize that there is anything going on with girls. (Saioa) I think they think what the people want is just to know about the guys sports (Andi) You d be surprised if you started putting girls in the paper, people would read it. Some of the guys games are like on radio or televison (Ann e ) I see Games of the Week for football. For the guys. I don't thin k there are Games of the Week for girls (Saioa) I was so impressed when I got a phone call a while ago to go to one of those radio sports stat i ons and talk I was the Athlete of the Week I was like the first girl. I t was around when I broke the record If you get exposure people will respond. (Anne) People will come out. It depends on what you put in there. (Saioa) People will follow it. They read (Anne) People say where are you going to schoo l ? I r ead about you You have more wom e n who actually read the sports pages. (Saioa) If anything it might persuade other females t o pick up sports And why do we have to be the Lady Hawks or th e Lady Terriers Why do there always have to be distinctions made In the newspaper you see basketball, but then you see women s basketball. Why do you have to put women in front of it. It' s just basketball too. If you hav e to make the distinction put men's basketball. You get used to some of it." 195

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The girls said they have nothing against cheerleaders but that sex role expectations and ac c eptance for cheerleaders in grade school created conflicts and anxiety for girls who preferred to be athletes. They said most boys prefer girls who are non-athletes ( Anne) The pep rallies were always for the guys The cheerleaders would be there. There was a rumor that we were going to try out for cheerleader and it freaked them out. At some of the pep rallies the guys on the basketball team would dress up like cheerleaders and the cheerleaders dressed up as basketball players." (Saioa) And they thought that was so funny that these girls would get out there and try do a lay up. The cheerleaders were like just throwing the ball up. ( Andi ) You can see why people laugh. It s a really bad representation." ( Anne) They thought that was so cute It' s in our yearbook the pictures." ( Andi ) They would say stuff like if you play softball you ve got to be gay or stuff like that. We would say no no. (Anne) I see guys patting each other on their butts during the game and it's no big deal. I f a girl were to do that sh e' d b e shot down'' Sa i oa who attended an all girls school said the girls basketball team voted to not have the school's cheerleaders at their state tournament games because during the regular season the c heerleaders opted to c heer for thei r brother school Bish o p That was the big thing. The c h e erleaders would say they ar e under contra ct with Bishop th e r e fore they needed to cheer f o r Bishop sports That s wh a t they 'll tell you Granted Bishop gives them uniforms a nd probably gives them money but. ... Last year when we were in the state finals they asked our coach if they could come in uniforms and c h ee r for our games W e said you didn 't want to go to one game before that why now? They would get out of school for the game I hav e nothing against ch ee rleaders at all If they w ere to cheer fo r girls sports as much as th e y would for guys th e n I would have no p ro bl e m with it. But the fact that they always cheer for the guys that's where I draw the line I guess it's 196

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that whole brother-sister school thing. We asked if some of the guys from Bishop could come to our games like a spirit club But it never happened. Anne said one of her good friends was a cheerleader at her school. The girl tried to encourage other cheerleaders to support the girls basketball team out of a sense of fairness and school spirit: My friend cheered and for a while they only cheered for guys. They were always at varsity football. They wouldn't do anything else until varsity football was over Once the season ended they moved right to boys basketball. She asked why don 't we cheer for girls' basketball because she didn 't want to miss my games. And she figured if she had to go, she might as well cheer. So then they had a sign up with half the squad cheering for the boys and the other for girls. But then only two or three would show up for the girls' games. But you had hordes of them signing up for the guys game because they might meet their boyfriend there. At the end of the season when we both (boys and girls) hosted regional games the cheerleaders said we don 't want to stay for two games They all picked the guys game She got mad and ended up quitting. She said she was the only one to sign up for girls games." The girls said gender stereotyping starts with parents who treat male children differently from their female children. Nelson (1991 ) describes a general Ame rican play scenario "Boys are allowed to run and to explore the space around them. Girls are restrained by clothing ('Don't let your panties show') and attitudes Watch in public places : boys race all over the place ; girls sit quietly next to their parents. It's not that boys have more energy. They're given the permission to express it differently" (Nelson : 1991 : 32). Andi led the conversation but all three girls were involved in the dialogue My dad told me that when he coached little league he couldn 't yell at a girl because she would turn around and cry And she 'll remember that forever A guy, if you yell at them they 'll accept it. 197

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You don t have to worry about their feelings. My dad said he wouldn t yell at us He d hold back Because they d run off and cry to their moms Sometimes you have to be careful about what you say (to other girls) on the court. They (girls) take offense and you're no longer their friend off the court Until you play on a team that understands that what you say on the court stays on the court and it' s just to make you better, you ge t that. I think if the c oach hit their son some parents would be fine with it. But with their daughters if he (c oach) raises his voice she s off the team You re just a violent coach It's like daddy s little girl. My dad i s like that so it's no big deal for me." ( Saioa) I like it. I would rat her be told when I m wrong. (Anne) It would annoy me more to have a coach not say anything It bothers me when you come out of the locke r room and people tell you you p laye d a good game Don t tell me I played good when I d i dn 't. I have s ix brothers My dad would yell at them and they didn t cry You learn it from that. Frankie I found simi l arities between the adversities reported by Anne Saioa and Andi and those reported by Fran k ie a 1 04 -y ear old informant who played basketball in her youth in 1915 Fran kie was born June 23 1894 in C la rksburg West Virginia She lives in a large city in the Southeast and still attends sporting e v ents from time to t i me I met her through a loca l basketball coach and his wife Frankie said she didn t know much about basketball until she started high school. She said she was born and reared i n the country. She played basketball in high school and described an experience from 1915 or 1916 According to H ick s ( 1993) basketball was the first team sport i n which women engaged and because it was a vigorous game with the potential for roughness women s participation qu ickly became highly con tro versial. Some of us senior girls wanted to play other teams Our school principal at Washington Irving ( High School) said well no Frankie, it isn t ladylike for you girls to play in bloomers and biddies i n front 198

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of a mixed audience So did the county superintendent. I forget his name He said, Frankie that's not a very good beginning for you as a teacher because they thought girls should not play ball in bloomers. We all wore bloomers at that time The other girls who played in high school and college wore bloomers They just didn t want us to play in mixed audiences We thought let s just go out and organize our own team and see if we can play some of the other schools in our vicinity We did that. The girls were not allowed to play outside of the gymnasium because the principal didn 't approve of it. He had old-fashion but good ideas about character. He thought I was a good type of girl and he didn t want me to go astray. We had a coach. We had a gymnasium Our coach was a small man who had been dropped as a child and his spine was injured His body didn 't mature properly He was only about 4 %feet. He was a teller in one of the banks and came from a very well-known and respectable family Oh yes he encouraged us. I was the manager and I scheduled seven games and we won five We won five of the games We had a little profit at the end of the season and we entertained the boys basketball team. We had a big dinner It was really a very successful season. When we graduated we went our various ways and taught school and other things I think it's perfectly all right if a girl wants to get involved in athletics. I think it's perfectly all right." Ann e Saioa and Andi related their experiences from a Catholic grade school where they developed their interest and skills in sports They said there were no uniforms for girls and that ca used some problems. They talked openly about gender roles and how skirts and shorts and sports were an issue for them just like it was 80 years before for Frankie. (Anne) "We hung out with each other since fourth grade in grammar school. N ever got new uniforms nev e r got n ew basketballs When we started off we didn 't even have a basketball team We had five people who wanted to play so we got a team the next year in fifth grade. Every day we played against the boys at recess The boys had a team since a couple of years after the school started We started [playing sports] in PE classes. Once we got a team we had the same shirts that we used for every other sport. We wor e them for track, volleyball softball. The boys had hom e and away uniforms We were told we had to hold off. We had 199

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balls with like no grip For a while we had to use boy s balls. We had to practice on the side parking lot. We never got the court It was like in gravel. Even during the volleyball season when we should have had the court they would start basketball early and we wouldn't even get the court for volleyball. I remember going to games and the stands were just empty That was like the big joke ; all the parents showed up All the girls teams played on Tuesday or Thursday or Monday or Wednesday while the guys got the Saturdays or Sundays and had fans. We had games outside When the boys would have a game there would be like incentives like a free pass from homework if you went to the game. But for girls it would be like oh, you re playing tonight. It would be like in passing They made a big deal for guys games." (Saioa) "In our seventh and eighth grade years we had to play the guys for the court We' d win and we still didn 't get the court They got the real court and we got the practice court The boys got basketball shorts provided every year and we had to wear PE shorts They had like warm up jerseys." (Andi) "Remember when we got in trouble at lunch when we took our skirts off to play basketball and we had shorts underneath? The nuns thought it was horrible The principal was yelling at us." (Saioa) "We got into so much trouble for doing that. ( Anne) When we did it again later on it was OK but that first time she told us never to do it again because that was not ladylike." (Saioa) "It wasn't like we were naked or anything. We had shorts underneath. If a boy had taken his pants off and had shorts underneath it probably wouldn 't have been a big deal. They wanted us to play in our skirts." (Anne) Half of the time when we played at lunch time we played in our skirts ." (Saioa)" And our saddle shoes You get used to it. (Andi) "We played i n blouses too The nuns were not helpful at all. Other voices A news wire arti cle published in the ConseNator on Dec 11, 1995 illustrates how aggressive some administrators are about monitoring the apparel of female athletes Coaches of female athletes argue that Title IX violations ranging from inferior training facilities and equipment to under-qualified coaching 200

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are left unchallenged by administrators who spend their time protecting the femininity of female athletes. The article entitled Shortchanged, tells how the state high school activities association the state high school sports regulatory body, disqualified a girls cross-country team for running in short shorts. The article read : A girls' cross country team was disqualified from a third-place finish because a referee and a group that regulates high school sports ruled the girls running shorts were too risque. "We were so happy after we crossed the finish line ; then when they told us we were disqualified we started crying," said a sophomore runner. The team placed third in a 2-mile race at a state meet Nov. 18. The state high school activities association permits girls to wear briefs for competition but requires that they not be abbreviated meaning high cut, or French cut. Many female runners prefer the tight briefs to regular running shorts which flap and bunch up. The disqualified team wears briefs similar to those worn by American Olympic stars Jackie Joyner Kersee and Gail Devers. The coach said that she ordered the briefs from an athletic apparel manufacturer and that the girls have worn them all season with no complaints (Daily Conservator Dec. 11, 1995 Spt 1 ) Th e article went on to explain that one of the state high school activities association administrators asked a spectator if he would allow his daughter to wear such things. The spectator replied As a matter of fact she s wearing them right now." The spectator said the administrator then asked What if they were white? Their private parts might show." The spectator said he then ask e d th e administrator if he was there to watch the race or to watch private parts. When asked about the ruling the administrator said, "We're talking about high school kids Those briefs don 't look appropriate And they may lead to an advantage to a runner." The administrator did not explain what kind of advantage 201

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I witnessed a similar scenario a year earlier at the state volleyball championships. During a conversation with a female state high school activities association administrator the administrator told me that the girls shorts were too tight too short and not appropriate for young athletes. I polled several parents of players from a local team. They all said they saw nothing wrong with the shorts and added that they wished the state high school activities association would spend more time and effort ensuring that girls have proper equipment and encouragement. It was to no avail. The next season the activities association banned briefs from all state volleyball competition despite pleas from volleyball players who said the baggy shorts hamper the quick-reflects movements necessary to compete against elite level players As a result, many girls could be seen the following season pulling up their baggy shorts as high or higher than their old briefs just before each ball is served You have to do it otherwise they don't let me move freely," one player said. "If I waited until the ball was served and then pulled them up I d lose a few seconds and that could mean the difference between getting to a ball and not getting to it. A couple of balls dropping in like that could mean the difference between winning and losing. Anne Saioa and Andi said some of their male peers who were athletes were supportive of them They said those boys chose them to play in pick-up games and knew they were athletically able to hold their own in competition The girls said the better boy athletes would pick them before picking lesser skilled 202

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boys That they said irritated the boys who weren t picked (Anne) Some of them [boys) were supportive when it came to school things but they never went to our games or anything like that. We scrimmaged the boys for practice The boys who were left out I'm sure they were upset about it but they couldn t do anything because they knew we were better than them." (Saioa) They (boys) would say why aren t you cheering We said "Why do we have to? Why don't you cheer or something? (Andi) I just don 't like the label tomboy Just because you play sports It s not bad now for a girl to be called tomboy but back then it was like the worst thing. (Anne) The worst part about it wasn 't the way we dressed or the way we looked or anything like that. It was just the fact that we were good in sports That's the bottom line because when we stepped onto the court it wasn t that we were acting manly or anything." Accommodation and Resistance In the 25 years since the passage of Titl e IX l eg islation the number of females participating in sport has grown threefold While many people in American society hav e h era ld ed this explosion in participation and ce leb rat ed the accomplishme nts of female athletes there are those who continue to lo ok unfavorably at these societal developments Among those preferring to hold onto traditional c ultural norms that r eserve the realm of sport glory for men are men i n sport media who h ave shown a great deal of resistance to documenting the exp loit s of fem ale athletes Cramer (1994) writes that few women s sports beats exist breeding a lack of media familiarity with women's sports Most coverage of women's sports she asserts, is the r esu lt of extra effort put forth by individuals Beats are work routines that privilege certain types of news to be cove red on a regular basis "Sports reporters, editors a nd directors by and large are white 203

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men Their subconscious tendency in most cases is to treat as newsworthy those sports topics with which they are most familiar and therefore most comfortable They then project those values onto the i r audience Women's sports coverage as a result is badly neglected" (Cramer 1994 : 167) Even when efforts are made to correct structural imbalances within sport media stereotypical notions about gender caused by conscious and unconscious sex ism and patriarchy often surface and ruin the effort. For example men in sport med i a are wri ting more news stor i es about female athletes but the portraya l s are often dominated by or laced with descr i ptions of femininity rather than athleticism Feminist activist Andrea Askowitz wrote about one such experience for Hers Magazine : Ten years ago I made the front page of the sports section I remember like it was yesterday morning Both of my parents stood at the end of my bed and called out my name to wake me I was surpr i sed ; i t was a Saturday and my dad hardly ever came into my room He was hold i ng the newspaper The Miami Herald s sports section I popped up exc i ted The day before I d won the girls cross-country regional champ i onship Maybe my name was i n the paper My mom sat next to me and said There's good news and bad news." First the good is our family custom You made the paper," she said I was so excited I couldn t wait to hear more Go ahead," I said ignoring her warning The headline reads Pillsbury Rolls to title .' I remember the 16-year-old me crying her eyes out while reading the rest. The article got worse Andrea may look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy but she runs like a tiger .... If you look at a picture of the team she s the last one you d think to be the best. ... Askowitz while short and pudgy .... I cried all day. Pillsbury was my nickname Me and my coach called each other Pills because he had a huge beer gut and I didn 't look like a typical lanky runner I was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighted 120 pounds I was a healthy kid The newspaper said I was fat. Yes the sports section is about strength and glory if the athlete in the story is a man 1 have competed as an athlete all my life and I never read 204

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the sports section. Today I know why. The personal glory reflected on those pages is not my glory .... a woman's glory The only time women make the sports news is when we re beautiful fat, in pain or dead (Askowitz ; Hers : October 1994 8) Askowitz writes that Lynda Truman Ryan, writing in a New York Times article did a year-long study of Sports Illustrated cover stories from February 1993 and found that five out of 52 covers featured women. One tennis player stabbed in the back one ice skater clubbed in the knee two women together widowed by their baseball husbands another tennis player beaten by her father and the women in bathing suits When Ryan took it up with the Sports Illustrated public relations department they responded that each was a news story Ryan without arguing, mentions that three American women skaters won every medal at th e world c hampionships for the first time in 75 years and that Chinese women runners broke several world records These are apparently not news stories (Askowitz : O c t 1 9 94 : 8). Kane and Greendorfer ( 1994) posit that thes e efforts and countless more like them are hardly unconscious They conclude that since Title IX women's participation in sports has forced a social change that the dominant power structure is not ready to accept. Further they state women's entry into this arena on such a national s c ale represents by definition a fundamental challenge to male power and privilege The authors write : "Therefore a central question to ask is what strategies of resistance can be employed by those in authority to accommodate this social change w i thout fundamentally altering the balance of power" (Kane and Greendorfer 1994 : 33) The researchers go on to 205

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say that by focusing on femininity--and otherness-rather than athlet ici sm accommodation and resistance can occur simultaneously For example Kane and Greendorfer cite the media attention given to sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner who dazzled spectators at the 1988 Olympic Games with her performances in the 1 00and 200-meters but who may best be remembered for "long tresses lavish makeup and racy one-legged running suits." Also the researchers write that Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt who won the 1988 Gold Meda l i s not portrayed as a ser io us and committed athlete but rather a sexy female who appeared in a German magazine in a peekaboo photo pos i ng in a veritable buffet of semi-naughty attire When forced to document the exploits of female athletes there are oftentimes simultaneous patterns of resistance and accommodation The sport media historical record is replete with examples At the Conservator a college beat writer wrote about his school s men s basketball team then referred to the women s team as the girls '" team Conservator policy states that each news sto ry should be read by at least two copy editors Th is ove rsight points to the systematic acceptance of traditional sex roles by many men i n sport media. In another case a Conservator sports writer wrote seven of the first ten paragraphs of a front -page feature about golfer Dottie Mochrie s physical features If she hits a golf ball like Dottie Mochrie if she bolts with intensity on high flame like Dottie Mo ch rie and she has those piercing blue eyes and bejeweled ears like Dottie Mochrie then it must by Dottie Mochrie So who is this woman who doesn't look like Dott ie Mochrie? ... Mochr ie's easily identifiable short lank tumble of blond hair that has been her style since she descended on the LPGA tour 206

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in 1987 after a three-time All American career at Furman is no longer. It has been retooled into a long flowing tassel of red. T o my knowledge Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman is the only male athlete whose physical appearance is as much a part of media coverage as his athletic skills. In the case of Rodman though he is in tent i onally trying to draw media attention to his physical appearance especially his hair. David and Blake There are also men at the forefront of the gender equity in sport movement. Fathers of girls who play sports coaches enlightened administrators and men who simply believe in fairness have been involved in the shaping and reshaping of Herstory in sport I set up formal interviews with several male key informants who were gender equity advocates. Blake is the father of three girls and one of the area s more successful high school girls basketball coaches He recently completed his master s degree and wrote his thesis about Title IX H e dedicated his work to his basketball players for opening my eyes to the quality of play that women can g i ve to not just basketball but to all sports." David is a basketball official and the father of a teenage daughter who plays basketball. David and Blake were interviews together (Blake) One of the things I found out when I did my Title IX stuff is that there is also stuff about TV and the way they disc r iminate It bought up the point of the final four During halftime they talked about the men s final four coming the following week for 12 minutes and talked about the women s final for about a minute That was it. The postgame for the men was about two minutes The postgame for the women was about 30 seconds I t really enlightened me 207

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One of the questions I asked was if you ever coached men s sports would you ever go back? One of the coaches took a big black magic marker and put no He basically said, and it s the same thinking I have the boys think they know it all already and you can't teach them anything I would never go back to boys. I have no interest in them While the girls are hungry and they want to become better and they will let you coach them or teach them how to get better The guys think they are already there." Blake said he has been coaching girls for the last five of his 17 years as a coach. He said until five years ago he believed coaching girls was only a stepping stone to coaching boys David had similar perspectives : (David) From somebody who has coached basketball both boys and girls, I would never go to boys. I had a boys' AAU job that I worked for a summer and at the end of the summer .. .. I got along with the kids I know the kids well. I fell in love with the kids But the sport is different. The boys think they know it all. I enjoyed coaching girls basketball and girls softball. But my favorite was teaching girls martial arts The two champion girls I had I brought up in a very short time I couldn t have ever brought a boy up to a championship standard in the same amount of time The girls would listen. The guys just wanted to put the pads on and fight. Girls have a more intellectual look at the sport than guys." I asked the men why boys i n our society are pushed into sport and g i rls are not. I remember doing a job interview with a popular softball coach who had recently resigned his position At the conclusion of the interview he told me that his daughter was not looking forward to the move I didn 't know the coach had any children I asked him if h i s daughter played sports He said no but that if he had a son, he would push him to play sports I asked why the difference in encouragement. He said that's just the way it is Later that night I remembered an interview with the same coach from a year earlier The state had just mandated that all girls would play fast-pitch softball in high school. There were a 208

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few schools still playing slow pitch. His school was one of them During the interview he said he didn t like the ruling because slow pitch was a nicer game for girls. The commissioner of the state high school activities association had a similar response after a state law forced the association to require fast-pitch softball across the board It s not something we really want to do but if the legislature is going to require it we will abide by the decision," the commissioner said I don t think it's necessary I think it 's just women bitching about something else Don t write this Ok Make us look good in the paper. I asked Blake and David if they had any similar experiences talking with men involved in girls' athletics (Blake) It s basically a good old boy system where it's driven into the women and the guys too that you don't want to go with a girl who can beat you in anything And especially one that has any type of muscular build or thing like that because it's not considered natural. There is no money for girls in sports except in tennis and golf When you mention star athlete,' you automatically think of a quarterback or a baseball player or a football player You never think of a woman as an athlete, as a star athlete I think it s getting a littl e bit better. My research enlightened me. I knew there were a lot of prejudices against women in sports but this (research) kind of hit me with a two-by four. (David) I dated a female basketball player in high school and it was not th e thing to do. All of the comments .... having to go to girls basketball games ... didn t really bother me be ca us e I love basketball. I don t think it 's getting better David and Blake said they attended a county basketball coac hes association meeting where th ey were treated as inferiors because they coached girls They said an air of macho arrogance dominated the meeting. When they exp r essed concern for their female athletes they in effect broke ranks with the 209

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other coac hes and the traditional gender order-males first-was breached Sabo and Jansen (1992) suggests that the dominant narrative structures in sport media cons tru ct and valorize hegemonic masculinity. In the process, other forms and expressions of non-hegemonic models of masculinity are marginalized ( David ) We went to the local basketball coaches association meeting The first comment that was made was that we (girls coaches) could become members of the organization but we could not be voting members because we did not coach boys sports It was basically a boys' coaches haven. So that's when somebody said, if a woman takes over as a boys basketball coach can she be a member of our organization? It was a big to-do The y did not want to look at the girl athletes for any of the end-of-the-year honors We could be there and dr i nk beer with them." ( Blake) There was on l y one guy there who really wanted anything to do with women s sports. And he pushed them pretty hard That coaches association is a misrepresentation It is basically just men I t's all for the boys basketball." (David) Through the grapevine I ve heard that we don t know enough about basketball to vote for the boys basketball players I told them I ve probably went to as many boys games and girls games. When my son was playing I went to every one of his games Once you ve been branded a girls coach or a girls referee that's what you are It's hard to move out of that. I think has a lot to do with those who are in power Most of the guys are going with the flow They are neither for girls or against them After about the second or third meeting I said I'm a second-class citizen basically You re looked down upon if you re a girls coach I think a lot of it is a media issue. (Blake) "In my paper ( thesis) I pointed out that it's almost 50-50 women watch ing sports on TV It's pretty close to that. That s why you are getting to see a lot more i ce skating on TV. More of the f inesse sports because they want it. I think it will come to a point in the near future where they will have a strong say." (David) I think it is changing but I do think it has been a media problem for a long time I think the media is coming around to it now The coverage of girls sports in the paper is a l o t more than it used to be Maybe that s due to people like you who are out there. Maybe i t's due to girls sports are coming of age." 210

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In summation the struggle for gender equity in sport does not have clear lines of demarcation by gender There are males who are at the forefront of the movement and females who are promoters of traditional male sport values. Each group has its own perspective Unfortunately for many female athletes their perspectives are not give equal treatment in mainstream news publications. Thus their concerns issues struggles and celebrations are not part of the public consciousness The documentation the history of the female experience in sport is being told through traditional perspectives I believe that as female athletes become more visible to the American public they will be portrayed in more accurate descriptions Many of those descriptions will have to come from males in sport media who have access to the athletes and the public s attention 211

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Chapter 9 Findings and recommendations Every weekday afternoon sports editors at the Daily Conservator Newspaper meet to discuss the day s top news events and how they will appear in the follow i ng day 's newspaper The meetings are called budget meetings They can last from fifteen minutes to th irty minutes depending on the comp le xity of the news events and the amount of news print avai lable from day to day The budget meetings are essentially a blueprint of what and how news stories w ill appear in print the follow i ng day Editors responsible for professional college and high school (prep) sports repr ese nt the reporters they supervise and lobby for the best possible story placement and length During the lobbying process editors highlight significant details from the stories written by their reporters hoping to persuade other editors t o see the import ance of the stories and agree to the most prominent placement in the next day s edition After the budget meeting copy desk editors are given a pr int out of news stories and features selected for publication along with their assigned length and page placement. The budget meeting discussions accentuate the subjective nature of news judgment. They illustrate how personal perspectives and social values influence and impact news judgment. For example at a budget meeting that I attended as an acting prep editor editors were debating how much motor sports news should be published and where it should be placed One editor argued that motor sports were taking up valuable space that could be used for more popular sports like 212

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basketball and football. The editor then jokingly said: "On top of that I don't like motor sports." While his words were spoken lightheartedly, they contextualize a nexus a link, between personal perspectives and news judgment. Attending budget meetings gave me a sense of editor priorities. I found that the sports and events which garnered the most discussion time generally received the most consideration for best placement front page and the most copy inches. Sports and events that were not discussed or received little attention, generally were shorter in length received fewer headlines and accompanying photos and were less prominently placed. For example, during my fieldwork internship I never attended a budget meeting where a story about a female athlete led the discussion. In most budget meetings that I attended prior to and after my internship coverage of female athletes was never mentioned. Kane and Greendorfer ( 1994) reported that in a content analysis of feature articles in the magazine Sports Illustrated between 1954 and 1987 male athletes received 91 percent of the total coverage given to athletes during that period More recently, Duncan Messner and Williams (1990 1991) found that little had changed in the pattern of under-reporting of women's sports. A 1991 (Duncan, Messner and Williams) study of four daily newspapers--the Boston Globe the Orange County Register the Dallas Morning News and USA Today-found that stories focusing exclusively on men's sports outnumbered those addressing women's sports by a ratio of 23 to 1 i.e. 96% of stories were about men. Even when men's baseball and football stories were eliminated from the 213

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totals, men's stories still outnumbered women's stories almost 9 to 1 Content analyses of Daily Conservator sports sections done during my fieldwork internship showed that news coverage of female athletes was just 1 0 percent of the total sports coverage. Ironically, during the past twenty-five years the number of females participating in sport from youth leagues to professional leagues has more than tripled Despite the increased popularity of sport among females news coverage has remained comparatively low c reat ing a news gap." My experiences as a sports writer told me that this news gap was more comp licated than a simple oversight in budget meetings or in event assignments. Th e purpose of this research was to look at the news coverage of female and male athletes and try to understand why the coverage of females has lagged so far behind what is routinely given to males. This res earch examined differences in sports news coverage between male and female athletes I began planning this research project with some introspection about my motivations My journalism training at the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education taught me that journalists are obligated by professional and ethical standards to provide responsible new s cove rag e for all newsworthy events and individuals The MIJ E is one of a handful of programs in the nation with a mission to train and place ethnic minority journalists in mainstream print media. MIJE-trained journalists oftentimes are placed in previously allwhite newsrooms and are charged with broadening the collect iv e p e rspective of the newsrooms by challenging the skin co lor ethnicity and gender 214

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stereotypes and biases that often bleed into news reporting. But while there is little contention little dispute that the struggles and achievements of female athletes are not as well documented as those of their male peers I have heard few journalists, including those with MIJE training voice concerns about the disparity Some of the most responsible journalists I know have never uttered a word about the news gap" between male and female athletes Even though they may not work in sport media they are nonetheless responsible for pointing out shortcomings in the news reproduction process. Thus my concerns about the news gap had less to do with responsible journalism than with the newsworthiness of female athletics. Newsworthiness is a component of perspective ; perspective is a component of social conditioning and is linked to cultural norms I wanted to know what was going on in sport media that was preventing female athletes from receiving better news coverage The literature on mass communication is replete with scholarship that addresses issues of fairness and responsibility in media There is an ever growing interest in sport scholarship evident in the Social Science Citation Index, which from its inception in 1971 through 1981 saw the number of references to sport or sport-related items increase by 510 percent while the total number of index citations increase by only 56 percent. But the question that I posed such as how can journalists call the present state of news coverage of female athletes responsible journalism? -was not addressed in mass communication or journalism literature Few previous researchers have 215

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addressed this issue especially its social and cultural implications Culture, rather than biology or anything else is responsible for the news gap. Anthropology the social science that specializes in culture was a logical choice for exploring these issues My research was des i gned to augment existing quantitative research on gender equity in sport using both quantitative and qualitative methods, based on an anthropological perspective In particular it was designed to place ethnographic descriptions of news reproduction in a specific newspaper sports department into a wider context of national and even international trends in female participation in sports I wanted to draw the links between the microcosm traditionally studied by anthropologists and the macrocosm that in many ways determines the smaller picture. News reproduction is th e process in which a fa c t or an event goes through the lay ers of reporters and editors before it is published or broadcast. Reporters and editors act a s filters o r gatekeepers of those facts and events. Sport media are no different. Within sport media however gender distin c tions are mor e clearly assigned and d e marcated because of the highly masculinized and traditional so c ial expectations of sport Indeed gender differences in socialization patterns in children s play and games ar e linked to gender-appropriat e and apportioned adult roles including those in sport Anthropology has been helpful in asking and answering : How different are male and females? Are the differences greater than the similarities ? And are the differences biog e netic, or are they social c onstructs shaped by societal values ? 216

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According to Gilmore, "all societies distinguish between male and female ; all societies also provide institutionalized sex-appropriate roles for adult men and women" (1993 : 163) According to Gaulin (1992) illuminating the relat ionship between biology and culture is a central contributio n of anthropology especially regarding differences between females and males. Unlike many anthropologists who often begin their research projects as new experiences where they are required to meet new people or even learn a second language or culture my research was done in a familiar environment under well-known circumstances-my job as a sports writer for the so-called Daily ConseNator. Pri or to working at the Daily ConseNator I worked for 27 months at smaller newspaper in the Southwest. These two jobs at different papers gave me the opportunity to see sport media from a variety of perspectives Over the course of several years I observed how a diverse group of mostly male news workers reac t ed to growing participation rate s of female athletes and I was one of those workers. My own experiences told me that journalists personal perspectives affect their news judg ement. In my capacity as a heavily involved participant-observer, I attempted to focus systematically on the extent to which such personal perspectives affected news judgment about sports and gender. In this study, I examined my own work setting as a social system with its own cultural environment-the culture of a sports newsroom My intent was to look at th e values of a sport media news room from an ernie perspective and 217

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examine how actors played out their roles and values how they affected newsworthiness and the decision-making process. In addition to participant observation, I conducted key informant interviews and designed a content analysis. Key informant interviews were conducted with colleagues at the Daily Conservator, journalists from other media companies from across the nation as well as local female athletes and coaches of female athletes. These data collections activities in addition to my years of work in sport media prior to and after my fieldwork internship provided a multi-layered perspective on how gender is constructed and gender relations reproduced in the presentation of sport news. Findings The quantitative data reported in Chapter 6 Print Matters, confirms that there is an undeniable news gap" between the amount of sport news coverage The Daily Conservator accorded to male and female athletes These findings are consistent with previous content analyses (Kane and Greendorfer 1994) that revealed male athletes receive considerably more attention in sport news coverage than females My purposes were to replicate prior quantitative analysis to establish the scope of the problem within my unit of study at The Daily Conservator. In my content analysis I focused on a season of college basketball. Men and women had similar season lengths ; the rules of the game are almost identical. Most schools in The Daily Cons e rvator's coverage area had both men s and women's teams. I found that men s college basketball dominated 218

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copy inches 2,577 -to-668.5 (79% to 21 %) during the 53 days of analysis This news imbalance is a direct reflection of editor perspectives, illustrated in the planning process at budget meetings Male college basketball players were given a qualitative as well as quantitative news coverage advantage over female college basketball players even before any news events unfolded No consideration was given to team records performance ranking, attendance or quality of competition. Gender was the deciding factor In one situation I found that a men's college team in the Conservator's coverage area had a losing record for nearly a decade, but was still accorded better news coverage than the schools women's team. The school's women's team won almost 20 games a year during a seven year period, and according to the school's sports information department routinely drew more fans than the men s team. In this scenario, media routines suggest that news coverage should have leaned toward the women s team Readers interested in sports news about this school were not given an opportunity to decide if the women s basketball team was newsworthy. Conservator news workers had already done that for them When news workers do this Soley (1992), says they become more news shapers than news reporters. And as Boutilier (1983) suggest regardless of what is actually happening to the relationship between women and sport it is the media's treatment and evaluation of that relationship that will shape its direction and content. In an effort to contextualize my results I also examined the historical 219

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background of women in sports Chapter 5 History, offered a historical review and chronology of female participation in sport from the late 1800s through the 1990s The historical record showed that American females have been involved in sport as long as males challenging the often cited popular theory that males are biologically predisposed to athletic endeavors while females are not. For example the first women's intercollegiate sport contest a basketball game between University of California Berkeley and Stanford University was played in 1896 A review of history showed that the Victor i an period tended to define male superiority as biologically determined rather than socially constructed. As well economics of the period had substantial influence in reinforcing a sexual division of labor ostensibly grounded in biological superiorityall social constructs For exa mple the Victorian ideals were vividly expressed in the views of Pierre de Coubertin founder of the modern Olympics which initially did not include women competitors. Nonetheless I found that many sport media managers oftentimes cited the 1972 Title IX legislation as the beginning point of modern female athletics effectively deferr i ng questions and issues of equity and fairness in media coverag e to th e assertion that participation efforts are only 25 years old This chapter showed that the history of female involvement in sport is filled with rich examples of athletic excellence while simultaneously shrouded with obstacles to participation My primary findings are contained in Chapter 7 Page Five where I 22 0

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attempted to illustrate what happens in the actual reproduction of sports news and the various ways that sports editors fail to include female athletic events A high school girls state basketball championship game that ended up on page five illustrates how these gender biases are enacted Generally, high school state championships are placed on the front page of the sports section Teams are accorded this coverage by virtue of achievement and merit. Some schools can go decades without competing for a state championship Other schools may have only one state championship in their school history which can span as much as fifty years. As a point of context in the ConseNator s pr i mary coverage area no high school football team had won a state title in 27 years High school girls volleyball teams had won state titles every year since 1980. Decisions and priorities are established on a day-to-day basis within the sports (news) department of The Daily ConseNator By focusing an ethnographic lens on these decisions I found that there are not only overt differences in the quantity of news about male and female athletes but there are subtle differences that also affect the quality of news coverage Editors at The Daily ConseNator took greater interest in female athletes when there was a sexual component or tragedy associated with the news. The only time my editor told me he was going to ask for front-page placement for a story that I wrote about a female athlete occurred when a star high school basketball player was i nvolved in a commission of a crime In another example one of my colleague informants told me that during an i nformal office discussion he aggressively 221

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argued with editors that a photograph of Russian teenage tennis player Anna Kournikova was sexually provocative lacked athletic portrayal and was therefore inappropriate and should not be run in the newspaper. The colleague-informant reminded me that within a two-week period editors agreed to run a story about a local professional hockey player who had a date with a celebrity film actor and a story about a former professional football team cheerleader who was going to be featured in Playboy Magazine. Neither story in his judgment had real sport news value. The informant-colleague stated : They were passing the photograph of Kournikova around and saying Oh my God look at this." The desk editors saw no problem running the photo I was shocked when I opened the paper the next day and didn t see it. I think the only reason it didn 't run was because of a lack of space I think some of these guys get off on stuff like that. I complained when we ran the story about the cheerleader and the hockey player who had one date with Pamela Anderson. I wondered what was the purpose of running these stories The hockey player said he wasn t going to talk about the date but we ran a twelve inch story anyway We ran a story about a guy going on a date with movie star with no details of the date When I asked [an editor] why we ran the cheerleader story he said they ar e part of the [local football ] team and we have to write about them." As a follow up I asked the executive sports editor for his thoughts He said both stories were human interest news and th e refore newsworthy. Another colleague informant said the issue of publishing sexual photographs and stories about female athletes is particularly troubling to him because many of the better female athletes in some sports are still girls." He said in sports like gymnastics when girls r e ach adulthood their careers are just about over Therefore the sport is dom i nated by girls He stated : 222

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"We don t need to use girls for sex-symbols I have always felt uncomfortable with the way we portray young female athletes They are not yet women but we try to make them into sex-symbols This troubles me." Tuggle and Owen (1999) had similar concerns after conducting a content analysis that examined the amount of coverage given to women s events and female athletes by NBC at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games They found that women were covered extensively but the coverage focused on individual sports esthetic sports like swimming diving and gymnastics-to the exclusion of team sports Citing other studies they co ncluded there is a sex-appropriate sports pattern to news coverage of female athletes Tuggle and Owen wrote : "Kane ( 1989 p 60) found that women who participated in 'soc ially acceptable spo rts such as tennis and golf were much more likely at attract coverage from Sports Illustrated than women who participated in team sports Kane (1989) also c oncluded that women involved in sports that involve close body co ntact or physical power as a primary component receive the least cove rage Hence only those women involved i n certain individual sports have been able to enjoy social acceptance and m edia coverage of their athletic participation (Tuggle and Owen : 1999 : 1 73). I found that this kind of categorizing of athletic appropriateness by gender or gender marking of female athletes is pervasive at The Daily Conservator. Not all male news workers in the department actively participated in the marking but I found little resistance ; few challenges to the mark i ng or to any sexist or racists discourse and comments. Several informants said that many 223

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sports departments function with cultural norms that permit, and in some cases encourage the sexual marking of female athletes. At The Daily Conservator, references to adult female athletes as girls in print and in conversation were commonplace. For example, in a weekly sports news roundup or summary about a local college basketball program a Conservator reporter described the teams and men s team and the girls team Normally at least two copy editors are responsible for reading each news story before it's published. The reference to girls team wasn't noticed until a reader pointed it out in a letter-to-the-editor I found that some news workers routinely focused on the physical attractiveness or unattractiveness of female athletes while ignoring or mitigating their athletic ability. One of my colleagues volunteered to cover a women s professional beach volleyball tournament because the athletes wore revealing swim suits. Without the swim suits he said he had no interest in covering the sport. Females working in some sports departments were also subject to various degrees of gender marking The year before my internship a female copy editor was assigned to the Conservator s sports department. She said she spent much of her time confronting what she called the locker room atmosphere" in the department. She called the environm e nt hostile to females who ch a lleng e d the traditional sport media cultural norms by criticizing male colleagues for their sexist perspectives and behaviors Some of her male colleague described her as confrontational and often recommended among other males that she act more like a female." Females who were less confrontational complain e d that their work 2 2 4

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performances was subjected to greater scrutiny by management than males with less experience. They said they felt that they had to prove their worth beyond reason while being passed over for promotions and assignments given to males with less experience As well I found that certain men were disadvantaged by the cultural construction of masculinity in The Daily Conservator s sports department. These men challenged cultural norms by failing to participate in certain in office sanctioned activities One male informant said he felt like an outsider in the sports department because he refused to participate in traditional sports department group functions like alcohol binges or attending sports bars and female nude clubs. The informant stated that he viewed his work role in the sports department simply as a job and not a lifestyle. That he said caused some colleagues to dislike him and think of him as weird or odd and less masculine. The informant said he had nothing against colleagues attending traditional male office functions but that he cherished spending his non-working hours with his wife and children Craig (1992 ) posits that men who find it difficult or objectionable to fit into the patterns of traditional masculinity often find themselves alienated While I witnessed only a handful of blatantly homophobic remarks during nine years of employment at the Conservator I got a clear sense that gay and lesbian athletes were also targets of gender marking ; gay men were too feminine and lesbians too masculine to fit into any traditional sport media paradigms My 225

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research shows that the models for these rigid paradigms are formed in boyhood during the enculturation process then tested on the playgrounds of our schools and in youth sports programs. I was one of several reporters assigned to write stories for a series on gay athletes. None of the other reporters sought out local gay athletes as news sources and resources The series lead reporter was clearly uneasy with the project and wrote his story from features published in other news sources rather than generate his own sources In Chapter 8 Herstory, I looked at how sport media and gender marking impacted female athletes and athletics I wanted to add a qualitative dimension to the quantitative data presented in Chapter 6, by localizing the struggles and hardships, achievements and successes of female athletes. Spindler and Spindler (1983) assert that the classic analysis of American culture has been dominated by men who hold the dominant status within society ; therefore their character was assumed to be the character of the American people I found this to be true Most formal and informal discussion about indepth projects at the Conservator centered on issues affecting elite male athletes I wrote nearly 90 percent of the indepth news stories about female athletes during my employment and most were printed in sections other than the sports section During three consecutive college basketball seasons the college basketball editor never mentioned female basketball players in his column His supervisors called it an oversight that needed to be corrected but managed to overlook it for three years. I found that this news gap affects the quality of the athletic 226

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experience for many female athletes. I found that high school administrators routinely scheduled practice and game times for the convenience of male athletes. For example in the Conservator s coverage area boys and girls played back-to-back soccer matches at 6 p.m and 8 p.m. Girls were assigned the 6 p.m. match. One area girls soccer coach suggested that boys and girls alternate starting times allowing working parents an opportunity to see their daughters play in the later game The coach said that school administrators vetoed the idea saying it was more important for fans to attend the boy s matches She said it s not hard to understand their [administrators] perspectives given the amount of news coverage given to male athletes. At the college level one university sports administrator told me he couldn 't secure advertising for his women s teams b e cau s e advertisers were not interested in supporting female athletes Yet an administrato r at another college said he never had a problem securing adv e rtising for h i s women s teams because he offers trade-outs (ex change of tickets for adv e rtising) as a men s women s package My research shows that many female athletes f e el at odds with sport me dia. During ethnographic interviews some of these informants stated that the news gap was a discriminatory practice Sports Enterprise My research is intended to show sport media gatekeepers the people who make decisions about what is read in newspapers and magazines and what is s e en and heard in sports broadcast that their attitudes and per c eptions about 227

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gender and sports could significantly influence their news judgment about what is and what is not newsworthy I wanted to show them that their subjective representations belie the social realities of current trends in athletics and contribute to the continuing denial of proper resources and opportunities for females interested in athletics. Perhaps the qualitative data in my research that best illustrates how social norms are reflected in the news gap between male and female athletics comes from a college basketball game doubleheader that I covered last year The doubleheader featured the women's and men s teams of a local university The women s game started at 5:30p.m. followed by the men s game at 7:30p.m. During the women 's game I was the only reporter at the media table Then, ten minutes before the start of the men s game a radio b ro adcast team and two other print reporters arrived at the media table As they were settling in I asked th e m why they didn't cover the women s game The radio reporters were stunned by the question It was the first time they had been asked to think about a routine way of working They looked at each other for a moment then turned to me and shrugged their shoulders I asked them if ther e was a company policy or rul e that admonished them from broadcasting the women s game. They said no So, I asked Why don 't you come to the women s game? They said they didn 't think there was enough interest from their listeners My final question to th e m was; how do you know this? " Well we don t," they replied But we don t think there is We don t think many people would be interest ed. 228

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The print reporters basically said the same thing. As beat writers they have the option to cover both games. But, they, too, didn't feel there was enough i nterest in the women's game to write about it. Thus they simply noted the final score of the women's game at the bottom of their men s game story. The reporters may be correct in their assessment. Or, they could be following sport media's traditional approach to covering female athletes don't worry about it until something happens that causes a change in coverage. During the past 12 years I have seen a tremendous increase in the newsworthiness of female athletes in sport media. The increase in newsworthiness has yet to translate into a dramatic increase in coverage but sport media has gotten the wake-up call. In my opinion, print media has heeded the wake-up call better that television and radio For example on severa l occasions while writing my game-story after the comp let ion of a game I have heard sports information directors from a local university call l ocal television stations and report the results of their men s and women s basketball games. But when I watched the late news sports broadcast that night onl y the result from the men s game was reported It would have taken no more than anot h er five seconds to announce th e women s score Yet many times the same sports broadcasters use the l ast fifteen or twenty seconds of their broadcast for cas ual conversation to fill in th e remaining time Until social conditioning in the United States changes any increase in news coverage of female ath let es will come from a willingness and commitment to provide r esponsib l e news coverage by journalists I have met several editors 229

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of major newspapers who have demonstrated that they are committed to responsible news coverage of female athletes Many editors say they are committed to responsible news coverage of female athletics but the commitment has yet to translate into increased coverage. For example one male informant a part-time sports writer who prefers covering female athletes said there is a qualitative difference in commitment to news coverage when a newspaper sends a staff writer to cover an event rather than use a stringer/correspondent or wire story. The paper that he works for sent a reporter to cover this year s NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament in San Jose, California. Editors at the Daily Conservator said the Women's tournament was not a priority and not in the financial budget; therefore it would not be covered by a staff writer. Yet, during last season s National Football League playoffs Conservator sports reporters were sent to several cities to cover early-round games These football games did not have to be covered by staff writers because wire services like the Associated Press cover the games and usually do so with a beat writer who is more familiar with the teams than an out-of-town sports writer. The informant stated : When newspapers send a staff writer to an event instead of a stringer it shows that something is important. That doesn 't happen for most women's events. Media don 't see women s sports as important. If newspapers show a mild interest then support will increase. I think coverage comes first. There has to be a mention of it. That is what it will take. Sport media seems to think of itself as reactive If interest increases, then media will respond Media needs to take the first step rath e r than the second step'' When I started this research project there was virtually no literature or 230

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previous studies from which I could compare or gauge societal attitudes about sport news coverage of female athletes Other than the efforts of advocacy organization like The Women s Sports Foundation and the Kentucky Equity Project increased media coverage of female athletes appeared to be a nonor low-priority issue. Boutilier (1983) calls the news coverage gap a critical social concern because the power of media plays a significant role in the handicapping of female athletes. Content analyses of Daily Conservator sports sections mirror the editorial priorities set in daily budget meetings Male athletes garner the attention in planning and then the overwhelming majority of news coverage Working in sport media during the past 12 years has given me a unique perspective on how sport media operates and how complex and arbitrary the news reproduction process can be For instan ce Daily Conservator sports editors insist that reader surveys indicate there is little demand for increased coverage of female athletes Yet they recognize that as readership and circu lati o n rates drop there is a need to attract n ew readers. Editors recognize that many of th e new readers will be females because the male market is saturated. One o f my non sports co lleague -informants argues that many potential r eaders of female sports have been turned off by the present sports news paradigm and have stopped reading the sports section and thus are not represented in reader surveys. Those readers the colleague-informant asserts are getting news about female athletes from other news sources i ncluding specialty magazines For newspaper sports editors the task of attracting n ew 231

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female readers while maintaining the present news coverage patterns will be a challenging. My research findings show that sport media is lagging behind other segments of society in recognizing the value interest and newsworthiness of female athletics I have seen a growing interest in girls high school and women s college sports by high school and college-aged males A number of coaches and school administrators have told me that some of the most avid supporters of girls high school basketball are high school boys basketball players. One administrators said that the boys at his school who are basketball fans will support good basketball no matter who is playing. Other boys the administrator said regularly attend girls games to support their girlfriends or to support girls who are classmates An administrator at an all-girls high school told me that boys from an all boys high school are among the most enthusiastic supporters of the all-girls school athletic programs One of the areas that I did not address in my research was looking at the perspectives of young males This generation of teen-aged males is the first in our society to have an opportunity to participate in sports alongside female peers Their perspectives could provided valuable insights into any shifting attitudes about gender and sports. Support for female athletes from young males are becoming common place During this year's NCAA Division I basketball tournament two members of the top-ranked Duke University men s basketball team drove across state to support the Duke women s baske tball team during a r e gional tournament game 232

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and were seen on national television cheering for their female peers. When both teams advanced to the their respective tournament's national finals the Duke University sports information staff traveled between St. Petersburg Florida and San Jose California on alternate days in order to provide team information to the media. After the Duke women defeated Georgia 81-69 in a Friday semifinal in San Jose the sports information staff flew to St. Petersburg to be with the men s team on Saturday The staff then flew back to San Jose to staff the women's game in Sunday s final against Purdue The staff then returned to St. Petersburg to staff the men s Monday night final against Connecticut. Duke University athletic director Joe Alleva said when he found out both teams were in the Final Four he started checking commercial flights but couldn't make connections for all four days So, he said the school chartered a private jet. There was no doubt we were going to do this. You don t get this unique an opportunity very often. It's double the frenzy." The Daily Conservator sent reporters to cover the men's tournament but did not send a reporter to cover the women s tournament. The Conservator's rival newspaper the Progressor covered both the men s and women s tournaments with staff writers Coincidently among local coaches and athletes, the Progressor is thought of as the newspaper with a greater commitment to women's sports. In order for sport media to generate more responsible news coverage of female athletes journalists must make a commitment to cover female sports eve nts on a regular basis This will allow reporters and editors an opportunity to 233

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interact with female athletes the way they interact with male athletes This will allow news workers to evaluate female athletes on their own merit. Because of the dominant narratives and hegemonic relationships in sport, sport media has yet to find a place for femininity in athletics Females are routinely de athleticized within sport media. For example in basketball men and women play different types of games. Men play a power game above the rim Women play a finesse game One of my editors said he would only support women s basketball when women are able to dunk the ball. This type of reasoning doesn t allow diversity of performance and allows sports writers to view female athletes as sex-objects and not bona fide competitors Ironically sport media has long recognized and respected the differences in gender and style of play in sports like tennis and gymnastics. And lastly sport media needs to look at the positive aspects that females bring to sports. The present sport writing paradigm must be more inclusive of female athletes and inc lude a broader range of topics including fitness. Th e present American sports paradigm encourages men to be spectators Women tend to have a fitness and health component approach to sports. Simon (1991) makes the point that by not encouraging full participation in sports Americans as a society are losing out on the benefits of athletic activities. "The costs of lack of fitness are both personal and social. Roughly one out of five American males has a heart attack by age sixty a much higher rate than for most of th e rest of the world Although the statistics are better for women many experts believe la c k of exercise can contribute to heart attacks in 234

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females as well as males. Even though physicians disagree about just what causes many ailments there does seem to be widespread agreement that lack of proper exercise can contribute to the inception and severity of many illnesses" (Simon 1991 : 95) In summation this research was designed to show that there is a link between gender social values and news reproduction By adding sports as a research component I was able to identify some subtle and not so subtle cultural nuances in our society. Culture is a complex system In order to really study it, it is necessary to look at microcosms of behavior because they provide valuable and dependable indicators of what is happening in the larger macrocosms of society Social scientist are certain that media affect certain b e haviors But isolating that effect and offering conclusiv e findings has b e en difficult if not impossible. The same goes for my res e arch. Craig (199 2 ) claims that content studies show fairly conclusively that media replicate and reinforce masculine societal v alues but insists that what impact media hav e on s ex -role attitudes and behavior is a far l e ss s e ttled qu e stion Craig wrote: Given that people are aff e cted by their entire environment and thus affected by notions of masculinity and f e mininity present in the family school church and larger social environment the task of isolating the effects of the m e dia is a difficult one (Craig 1992: 19) My research ex amined the relationship between sport media messages a nd gender masculinity and femininity It was designed to look at media 235

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influence by isolating the decided masculine sport news content of a mid-size daily newspaper while scrutinizing gender perspectives of sport news workers This kind of investigation while narrow in focus creates a nexus point between news workers perspectives and media content. Recommendations During the my years of working in sport media I found that sports reporters and sports gender equity advocates generally have different notions and expectations of sports news Many sports news workers feel that the current sport news paradigm is correct and responsible They see male athletes as the dominant news interest. Female athletics are viewed at best as spot news events, but more often than not, a bit of a bother. Gender equity advocates often view sport media with mixed sentiments and viewpoints. On one hand they see sport media in a positive light ; that with through further persuasion and education can have a beneficial role in the lives of female athletes On the other hand sport media is an adversary resistant to news events and competition involving female athletes. I have heard a number of editors say that they are interested in and committed to increasing the news coverage of female athletes at their respective newspapers While their concern may be genuine it does not necessarily result in any substantial quantitative or qualitative change Simply, what they say and what they do is not always consistent. I have some recommendations for sport media managers and gender equity advocates For sport media managers interested in increasing news coverage of 236

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female athletes : .1. Do a random content analysis of your news paper or broadcast. This will allow you to see the quantity and quality of your news content. 2. Examine the news reproduction planning process to see if events involving female athletes are given consideration or priority before employees are under deadline pressures 3. Encourage assignment editors to assign stories about female athletes. 4. Encourage all staff members to develop working relationships with coaches and sport information directors/managers of female athletes 5. Find out if any staff members have a strong interest in pursuing news stories about female athletes If there are assure them that they will not be punished for doing so or relegated to low priority assignments. 6. Attend athletic competitions of local f e male athletes This will provide a broader perspectiv e for assess ing the n e wsworthin ess of female athletes Recommendations for sports gender equity advocates (coaches sports information directors/managers athletic directors parents etc.) 1 Set up a get acquainted" meeting with th e executive or managing sports editor. 2 Develop a working r e lationship with the (beat) reporters who covers your school or sport 3 Return all phone calls a nd respond to all faxes or mailing from media sources Report scores notes and statistics in a timely manner 237

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4 Keep your beat writer informed about all news worthy events and give ample time for planning Make sure editors and beat writers have copies of season schedules 5 Try to schedule important competitions around important ma le events This flexibility prevents media decision makers from having to choose between male and female events 6 Make sure female high school athletes have a high quality of coaching and support It is not unusual for school to hire lesser or unqualified coaches for female sports ; something that is unac c eptable for boys football baseball and basketball. 238

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References Acosta Vivian and Linda Carpenter 1988 Women in intercollegiate sport: A longitudinal study-eleven year update 1987-88 Unpublished manuscript Brooklyn College Department of Physical Education New York Biddulph Steve 1994 Manhood : An action plan for changing men's lives Finch Publishing : Sydney Bird Elizabeth S. and Robert W. Dardenne 1997 Myth Chronicle and Story : Exploring the Narrative Qualities of News. In Social Meanings of News Dan Berkowitz ed. Bird Elizabeth S 1992 For Enquiring Minds : A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press Bleske Glen 1997 Ms. Gates Takes Over In The Social M ea ning of News Dan Berkowitz ed Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publication Boutilier, Mary A. and Lucinda SanGiovanni 1983 The Sporting Woman Champaign, IL: Human Kineti cs Publish e rs Inc Blum Debra 1995 Slow Progress on Equity. In Sport and Society : Equal Opportunity or Business as Usual ? Ri c hard Lapchick, ed. Thousand Oaks : Sage Publication. Chambers, Erve 1985 Applied Anthropology : A practical guide. Prospect Heights Ill ; Waveland Press Coakley Jay L 1998 Sport in Society : Issues & Controversies. Boston : Irwin McGraw-Hill. Cohen Greta L. 1993 Media Portrayal of the F e male Athlete In Women in Sport : Issues and Controversies. London : Sage Publications. 239

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Guttmann Allen 1991 Women's Sports: A History. New York : Columbia University Press Heinermann, Klaus 1993 Sports in Developing Countries. In the Sports Process Dunning Eric and Joseph A. Maguire and Robert E. Pearton. eds. Champaign Ill : Human Kinetics Publishers Herdt, G 1987 The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea. Forth Worth: L Holt Rinehart & Winston. Herzfield M 1985 The Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village. Princeton NJ: Princeton Univ Press Hesse Biber Sharlene 1996 Am I Thin Enough Yet? The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity New York : Oxford Press Hinshaw Robert E. 1980 Anthropology, Administration and Public Policy. Annual Review of Anthropology 1980 9:497 522 Katz Jackson 1996 Masculinity and Sports Culture In Sport in Society : Equal Opportunity or Business as Usual?, Richard Lapchick ed London : Sage Publications Kochman Thomas 1983 Black and White : Styles in Conflict. Chicago : University of Chicago Press. Kottak Conrad Phillip 1990 Prime Time Society : An Anthropological Analysis of Television and Culture Belmont CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co Lasswell Harold 1948 The Structure and Function of Communication in Society In Th e Communications of Ideas L. Bryson ed. New York : Institute for Religious and Social Stud i es 84-99 241

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Lapchick, Richard 1996 Sport in Society : Equal Opportunity or Business as Usual? London : Sage Publications Lichter Robert and Stanley Rothman and Linda S. Lichter 1986 The Media Elite. New York: Hast i ngs House Book Publishers Loy W. John and Gerald S Kenyon eds. 1969 Sport Culture and Society London: The Macmillan Company Lumpkin Angela & Williams Linda, D. 1991 An analysis of Sports Illustrated feature articles 1954-1987. Sociology of Sport Journal 8(1 ) 16-32 Matos Alejandro Hartman and Carlos Isaac Garrido, Antonio Mas Gamez Beatriz Cesar Reyes. 1996 Baracoa In Colors : A magazine about the rest of the World July-August edition McBride James 1995 War Battering And Other Sports : The Gulf Between American Men And W omen Atlantic Highlands N .J.: Humanities Press Int ernational. Messner Michael and D .F. Sabo 1990 Toward a Critical Feminist Reappraisal of Sport Men And The Gender Order. In Sport Men and the gender order Messner Michael 1992 Power at Play : Sport and the Problem of Masculinity. Boston : Beacon Press Messner Michael 1990 Sports Men and the Gender Order. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics Books Messner Michael 1988 Sports and Male Domination : The female athlete as contested ideological terrain Sociology of Sport Journal 5(3) 197-211. 242

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Miller Phyllis and Randy Miller 1995 The Invisible Woman: Female Sports Journalism in the Workplace Nagel Ming In Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Vol 72 No 4. 883-889 Winter 1995 1995 Learning to Brace Yourself Against Tackles and Non-believers : An inside look at New Zea l and Women's Rugby In Girljock Magazine #14 17 -21 24., Natan Alex 1969 Sport and Politics In Sport Culture and Society eds Loy W John and Gerald S Kenyon London : The Macmillan Company Nelson Mariah Burton 1994 The Stronger Women Get The More Men Lo v e Football. Se x ism and the American Culture of Sports. New York : Harcourt Brace & Co Ogbu John Ethnoecology of Urban School i ng 1987 In Cities of the United State s : Studies in Urban Anthropology Leith Mullings ed Philips Susan U 1980 Se x Differences and Language IN Annual Review of Anthropology 9 : 52 3 -44 Poynton Cat e 1989 Langu a g e and gender : ma k ing the differen c e Oxford : Oxford University Press Sabo Donald & Su e Curry Jansen 19 9 2 Imag e s of Men in Sport Media In M e n Masculinity and Media Steve Craig ed London : Sage Publi c ations Sage George H 1 9 90 Pow e r a nd Ideology in American Sport : A Critical Perspective Champaign IL: Human Kinetics Books 243

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Shoemaker Pamela J 1997 A New Gatekeepi ng Model In The Social Meaning of News Dan Berkowitz ed London Sage Publications Shoemaker Pamela J and Stephen D Reese 1991 Mediating the Message : Theories of Influences on Mass Media Content. London : Longman Simon Robert L. 1991 Fair Play : Sports Values and Society San Francisco : Westview Press Snyder Eldon E and Elmer A. Spreitzer 1983 Social Aspects of Sport Englewood Cliffs N J.: Prentice-Hall Inc Soley Lawrence 1992 The News Shapers. New York : Praeger Soloski John 1997 News Reporting and Professionalism. In The Social Meaning of News Dan Berkowitz ed Thousand Oaks CA. Sage Publ i cation Spindler George D and Louise Sp i ndler 1983 Anthropologists View American Culture Annual Review of Anthropology 1983 12:49-78 Spitulnik Debra 1993 Anthropology and Mass Media Annual Review of Anthropology 1993 22:293-131 Thomas Ron 1995 Black Faces Still Rare in the Press Box In Sport in Society Richard Lapchick ed Thousand Oaks : Sage Publ i cations Tiger L. 1984 Men in Groups New York : Soya r s 244

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Tong Rosemarie 1989 Feminist Thought San Francisco : Westview Press Toth Rudy 1996 Are Women Equal to Men Masters Thesis, National Lewis University Tuchman, Gaye 1978 Making News : A Study in the Construction of Reality London : The Free Press Tuggle C A. and Anne Owen 1999 A Descr i ptive Analysis of NBC s Coverage of the Centennial Olympics : The games of the Woman ? In Journal of Sport & Socia l Iss ues Ma y 1999 Volum e 23 No. 2 Va n Willigen John 1993 Applied Anthropology : An Introdu ction London : Bergin & Garvey Webb Bob 1997 Breakthroughs : Journal of Moral Rearmament. Washington D C 245

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PAGE 258

Appendix 1. History of Women in Sport 1892 Senda Berenson is appointed instructor of gymnasti cs and of tmininQ at Smith College. 18 95 Mountaineer Annie Smith Peck is first woman to climb the Matt e rhorn 189 6 First women's intercollegiate sport contes t is a basketbal l f California Berkeley and Stanford Un iv ersity 1900 T w el ve women compe t e i n Paris at lind Olymp i ad in (jf Anni e Edson Taylor, 43, i s fil!'st person w iilf11 11004 Only women rompetilf1lg iin1 the iilril Stt. represerning ffirom .. IO .. C AJnmii e SmrniittlhliPed... 5, ii$ iliilr$tt SoorttJrn ii1111 IPetT1l.l1Wioo l1lme Amhlkaite LUJmoo il$ 1l1ln.e

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Appendix 1. (Continued) 1917 Annie Oakley, sharpshooter and former star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show from 1885 to 1901 tours World War I Army camps giving shooting lessons to the soldiers. 1922 The Federation Sportive Feminine Internationals holds the first Women's World Games because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refuses to include track and field competition in the Olympics for women The Amateur Athletics Union sponsors a track and field team to the new Women's Olympic Games. 1924 Golfer Glenna Collett Vare wins 59 out of 60 matches. The first Winter Olympic Games are held. Marion Hollins organizes the Women's National Golf Country C l ub on Long Island f i nanced totally by women for its all-women membership 1925 Gertrude Eder1e becomes the first fema l e to swim the English C h a nn el b r ea ki n g t he e xi sting r ecord by mo r e t h a n two hou r s 1926 Chlar1otte S h umme l sets reco r d i n 1 50-m il e swi m f r om A lba n y to New Y ork C i t y 1 927 Powerr boa t r a ce r D e l phi n a C romwell w i ns t!he Cup Race on th e Potomac R i ver i n he r boa t M i ss Synd i cate

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Appendix 1. (Continued) 1929 Amelia Earhart founds an international organization of licensed women pilots called the Ninety-Nines (the number of charter members). 1932 Babe Didrikson sets world record in three track and field events in Summer Olympics, but her high jump record is disallowed because of improper technique. 1934 The fourth and last Women's World Games are held in London, England 1937 Amelia Earhart disappears during her around-the-world solo flight. 1938 Helen Wills wins her eighth singles title at Wimbledon. 1940 Kathryn Dewey whizzes past the all-male competition to lead her four-man bobsled team to the National Championship title; the men are so irate they pass a rule to prevent women from further competition. 1941 The Ohio State University women physical educators organize the first national collegiate golf tournament. 1942 Edna Gardner Whyte sells her aviation school hangars, and planes and moves to Texas to train Army and Navy pilots for World War II. 1943 P .K. Wrigley forms the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League. 249

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Appendix 1. (Continued) 1949 The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is established 1951 Associated Press votes Babe Didrikson Zaharias the "Woman Athlete of the Half Century." 1953 Maureen "Little Mo" Connolly becomes first woman to win the Grand Slam in Tennis 1956 Pat McCormick repeats 1952 feat by taking gold medals in both the springboard and platform diving events at the Summer Olympic Games 1957 Althea Gibson becomes the first black woman tennis player to win Wimbledon and Fore s t Hills. 1960 Sprinter Wilma Rudolph wins three go l d medals in the Olympics. 1964 Volleyball is introduced as the first team sport for women in the Olympic Games. 1967 Katherine Switzer is first woman to run the Boston Marathon disguised as K. Switzer, wearing a baseball cap. 1968 A sex chromatin test for women athletes is introduced as a prerequisite of Olympic competition. 250

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Appendix 1 (Continued) 1970 Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to race in the Kentucky Derby. 1971 Five-person full court play is officially adopted in the sport of women's basketball following a two-year experimental trial period 1972 Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act is passed by U.S. Congress. Dorothy Harris organizes first National Research Congress on women's sports and becomes first person to conduct sports medicine research using women as subjects 1973 Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs to win $100 000 tennis match billed as the "Battle of the Sexes The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AlA W) awards academic scholarships to women athletes at collegiate level. 19 7 4 The Women's Sports Foundation is established to foster development of women's sports in America 1976 Janet Guthrie is first female driver in Indianapolis 500 Pitcher Joan Joyce leads Connecticut Falcons to World Series Championship in the International Women's Professional Softball Association 251

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Appendix 1. (Continued) 1977 Shirley Muldowney is named top drag car racer of the year Sheila Young repeats 1973 feat by winning the World Championships in two different sports: speed skating and cycling. 1978 Mountain climber Arlene Blum leads first all-women's expedition up Annapurna Wade Trophy established by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) to honor basketball coach Virginia Wade ; awarded annually to the top college basketball player in the country. 1981 Kathy Whitworth becomes first female golfer to reach $1 million in earnings. Women permitted membership in the former all-male IOC Edna Gardner Whyte 80 considered the grande dame of aviation enters the All Women's International Air Race (which she has won four times previously). 1982 The first time the U .S. Postal Service issues commemorative stamps to honor athletes. Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Bobby Jones are chosen 1984 The Supreme Court ruling in Grove City V Bell is interpreted to mean that Title IX no longer covers sports. Lynette Woodward becomes first woman contracted to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters. Joan Benoit wins the first women's Olympic marathon in 2 : 24 : 52 252

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Appendix 1 (Continued) 1988 Congress passes bill to overturn Grove City decision and restore expansive interpretation of Title IX Steffie Graf wins Tennis Grand Slam and exhibition gold at Olympics. Jackie Joyner-Kersee sets new heptathlon world record and surpasses old Olympic mark by nearly 1 000 points and wins her second gold medal in the long jump. Sarah Fulcher finishes the longest continuous solo run ever certified by the Guinness Book of World Records for her 11, 134-mile run around the perimeter of the United States in 14 months, averaging a marathon every day. 1989 Rock climber Lynn Mill captures women's championship title in World Cup Super Finals and third place in open competition for both men and women. Victoria Brucker of San Pedro California, is first girl to play in Little League World Series playing first base batting i n the cleanup position (fourth), and pitching in the final game. Paula Newby Fraser breaks the lronman Triathlon World Championship record for the second year in a row and wins the World Biathlon Championships in same year. Martina Navratilova is named "Female Athlete of the Decade" by the National Sports Review 253

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Appendix 1. (Continued) 1990 Susan Butcher wins fourth Alaskan 1 ,049-mile lditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Ski racer Diana Golden retires after winning three gold medals at World Championships to continue promoting sports for disabled Martina Navratilova wins record ninth singles championship at Wimbledon. 1991 Judith Sweet becomes first woman president of the NCAA. The first World Cup Championships are contested in the sport of soccer and the U.S. team wins title 1992 The Supreme Court rules that Title IX plaintiffs may seek compensatory and punitive damages in sex discrimination cases. The Women's Antarctica Expedition begins historic trek across Antarctica. Cohen (1993). 1996 CBS s Michele Tafoya became the first woman to do play-by-play in the NCAA men s basketball tournament when she relieved Sean McDonough during the Wake Forest Kentucky game Tafoya worked four minutes of the first half when McDonough became ills The UCONN-Tennessee Women s Final Four match up scored a 2 5 rating the most viewers for a women 's basketball game in history. Tickets for the 199 7 Women s Final Four sold out in less than six hours the earliest sell out in the history of the event. (Sports Business Daily, March 25 1996) 254

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Appendix 2. Chronology of Locker Room Access and Incident 1975 Jane Gross, a Newsday reporter, and Jennifer Quale a Times-Picayune feature writer, are instrumental in opening NBA locker rooms for women reporters 1977 Melissa Ludtke of Sports Illustrated denied access to the New York Yankee locker room, sues major league baseball. Betty Cuniberti, Washington Post sportswriter is granted access to the Minnesota Vikings locker room by Coach Bud Grant. 1978 A federal district court judge rules that all reporters regardless of sex, should have equal access to the locker room. 1979 Doris Goodwin becomes the first woman reporter to enter a baseball clubhouse with the official permission of the Boston Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers construct the "Himmelberg Wall a partition between the entry area of the locker room and the rest of the room in "honor'' of Michele Himmelberg of the Fort Myers News-Press 1980 Lesley Visser of the Bo s ton-Globe is physically ejected from the locker room after the Cotton Bowl. Sally Jenkins, San Francisco Examiner is harassed in the locker room by Fred Stanley of the Oakland A's 1982 National Hockey League establishes equal access rule for reporters. 1983 Sara Freligh of the Philadelphia Inquirer is assigned the Penn State football beat and rather than let her in the locker room Joe Paterno sets up a separate interview room for all reporters. 1984 Associated Press Sports Editors approve guidelines concerning equal access to locker rooms for male and female reporters Lesley Visser of the Boston Globe and Christine Brennan of the 255

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Appendix 2 (Continued) Washington Post are denied access to the Giants locker room and are told to wait outside for interviews. A public relations representative provides them with a player (Casey Merrill) who had only played a down or two during the entire game to interview Jane Gross, of the New York Times is verbally harassed by members of the Cleveland Indians during post-game interviews in the clubhouse Jackie McMullan a Boston Globe sportswriter is thrown across a hallway and into a wall when she attempts to enter a college basketball team's locker room 1985 Major league baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth orders equal locker room access for female reporters The National Football League adopts equal access rule for male and female journalists. USFL Commissioner Chet Simmons says that the league has a strict rule that provides for equal access Jill Lieber Sports Illustrated Nancy Donnellan CBS radio and Joan Ryan The Orlando Sentinel are told to leave the locker room of the Arizona Wranglers after the USFL Championship game in Tampa by an administrati v e assistant of George Allen Joan Ryan, The Orlando Sentinel is surrounded by players in the locker room of the USFL Birmingham Stallions while one of them strokes her leg with a disposable plastic razor 1986 Shelly Smith San Franci s co Examiner, is grabbed in the locker room and marched into the 49ers' shower room by Bubba Paris. Lisa Nehus Saxon of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Los Angeles Dodger baseball players harass her by fondling themselves in front of her and sticking dildos in her face as she tried to conduct interviews. Anna lisa Kraft a photographer for the Cincinnati Enquirer who was attempting to take pictures was "goo s ed" with a bat by Pete Rose as she bent over and then was greeted with obscenities 1988 Karen Rosen a sports reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution is denied an opportunity to interview two Vanderbilt players after a game -outside of the locker room The American Society of Newspaper Editors write s a protest letter to Vanderbilt's 2 56

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Appendix 2 (Continued) president. The Southeastern Athletic Conference institutes the Karen Rosen Rule All reporters must wait outside of the locker room for interviews 1989 Melody Simmons of the Baltimore Evening Sun is harassed in the Baltimore Orioles' locker room by players chanting, "Wool wool." 1990 Lisa Olson of the Boston Herald is harassed in the locker room by several members of the New England Patriots including Zeke Mowatt Michael Timson and Robert Perryman Denise Tom USA Today sports reporter, is barred from the Cincinnati Bengals' locker room by Coach Sam Wyche He is fined $30 ,000 A.J Brown of the Daily Tar Heel the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is told to leave the locker room as she attempts to interview a player Jennifer Frey sportswriter intern with the Detroit Free Press is verbally harassed by Tiger pitcher Jack Morris when she attempts to interview him 1991 Beth Harris of the Associated Press is evicted from the Indiana University locker room by basketball coach Bobby Knight. 1992 Karen Crouse of the Orange County Register Lisa Nehus Saxon of the Riverside Press-Enterprise and Karen Pearlman of the El Cajon Daily Californian are barred from the locker room at a San Diego State and Southern California football game. Ailene Voisin of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is verbally abused by Charlotte Hornet rookie Larry Johnson He shouted obscenities at her when she reminded him that female reporters have equal access to the locker room After a game with the New England Patriots Miami Dolphins' player Mark C l ayton screams obscenities about Lisa Olson to a locker room full of reporters (Creedon 1994 : 92-93) 257

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Appendix 3. National Year End Stories The national category includes the following stories : Tiger's record-setting Masters win Tyson bites Holyfield Dean Smith retires at UNC Red Wings win first Cup in 42 years then face tragedy Packers win Super Bowl Chicago Bulls win one for the thumb Europe upsets USA to retain Ryder Cup lnterleague play begins in baseball Growth of women's hoops (WNBA/ABL) Marv Albert fired after assault trial Home run derby for McGwire /G riffey Jeff Gordon wins 2nd Win s ton Cup title Manager of Year Davey Johnson quits O s Parcells l eaves Super Pats for Jets Car l L ewis retires Houston Oilers move to Tennessee and strugg l e at gate Arizona wins basketball national c hampionship George Foreman retires Silver Charm loses Belmont and T riple Crown 258

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Appendix 3 (Continued) Edd ie Robinson retires H artford Whalers move to Carolina / NHL expands Ben Hogan dies at age 84 Martina Hingis wins three of four Grand S lams Baseball signs CBA peace at last Milwaukee Brewers mov e to NL Other nominees : 259

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Appendix 4 Female Student-Scholarship ratio. Percen t age of Perce n tage of Percentage of female students female athletes scholarship dollars for female athletes Bethune-Cookman 58 34 28 Boston Col l ege 53 37 31 Boston University 55 45 32 Bowling Green University 57 38 30 College of William and Mary 58 38 30 Coppin State College 72 56 47 Duke University 49 34 27 Hampton University 61 40 30 Liberty University 51 32 26 N ortheastern Univers i ty 4 4 38 31 South Carolina State 58 33 25 Univ of Colorado / Bou l der 47 40 31 Univ of Maine at Orona 47 40 26 U n iversity of N orth T exas 52 39 30 University of Oregon 51 36 31 Univ Of Texas at El Paso 54 37 31 University of Toledo 52 41 35 University of Tu lsa 54 37 31 Utah State University 51 4 1 28 Van derbilt University 47 41 31 Wake Forest Univers i ty 48 34 26 Wolford College. 44 34 27 260

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Appendix 5 Daily Budget Thursday for Friday Column -Williams BASEBALL Local Professional Game 1 : 05 p.m.-Kenan 15" with/staff art (photos) Side Bar-Opposing pitcher by Miller 8" Local DailyNotebook stuff-Kenan Miller 16" with: Box score Game facts for front Advance box with/lineup Locator map Pittsburgh vs. Detroit 1:05 p.m Gary 8-1 0" with/staff art. Houston vs. Philadelphia at Jonestown 1 : 05 p .m.-Henny 8-1 0" Boston vs. Cleveland at Haven Dale 1 : 05 p m Chase (notes only) Atlanta vs. NY Yankees 7 ; 15 p.m.-Ranee 10" (notes from Darlene) Also Kansas City vs. Toronto 1 : 05 p .m. Te x as vs. Cincinnati 7 :05p.m. Florida vs. Los Angeles 1:0 5 p m St. Louis vs Montreal 1 : 05 p.m. Seattle vs Oakland at Phoenix, 3:0 5 p.m. Anaheim vs Chicago White So x at Tucson Ariz 3:05p.m. Colorado vs. Milw a uk ee at M a ryvale Ariz 3 :05p. m Chicago Cubs vs San Fran cisc o at S c ottsdale Ariz. 3 : 05 p.m Arizona vs. San Die go at Peoria Ari z 3:05p.m. C OLLEGE BASKETBALL 25p6 Brack e t CUSA Quart e rfinals Alabama-Birmingham vs. Saint Louis-Tulan e winn e r 1 p m USF-Louisville winner vs. Cin c innati 3 : 30 p.m UNCC vs. Marquette, 7 p .m. Memphis vs Southern Mississippi 9 :30p.m. ACC First Round 25p6 Bracket Florida State vs North Carolina State 7 p.m -Carl Also Duke vs Virginia 9:30 p.m 261

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Appendix 5 (Continued) SEC First Round *25p6 Bracket Alabama vs. Vanderbilt 1 p .m. Georgia vs. Mississippi State 3 :30p.m. Tennessee vs. LSU, 7:30p.m. Auburn vs Florida 10 p m Joe MEAC Morgan State vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore 3 p.m Florida A&M vs. Delaware State, 8 p.m. Atlantic 1 0 Quarterfinals Temple vs. La Salle-St. Josephs's winner, noon GWU vs. Virginia Tech-Massachusetts winner 2:30 p.m. Xavier vs. St. Bonaventure-Duquesne winner 7 p m Rhode Island vs Fordham-Dayton winner, 9 p.m Big East Quarterfinals Connecticut vs. Providence-Notre Dame winner noon Miami Georgetown winner vs. West Va.-Rutgers winner 2 : 30p.m. Syracuse vs. Villanova-Pittsburgh winner, 7 p.m St. Johns vs. Seton Hall Boston College winn e r 9 : 30 p .m. Big Sky First Round Eastern Washington vs Cal State Northridge 8:30p.m. Montana vs Montana State 11 p .m. Big Ten First Round Minnesota vs. Northwestern 2 p .m. Penn State vs. Wisconsin, 4 :30p. m Indiana vs. Ohio State 7 p m Big 12 First Round Kansas State vs Colorado 1 p m Baylor vs Texas A&M 3:30p. m Texas Tech vs. Texas 7 p m Missouri vs. Iowa State 9:30p.m. 262

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Appendix 5 (Continued) SWAC First Round Grambling State vs. Alcorn State 3 p .m. Southern University vs. Alabama State 5 p m Jackson State vs. Prairie View 7 p.m Texas Southern vs. Mississippi Valley State 9 p.m. WAC Quarterfinals New Mexico vs. Tulsa-Brigham Young winner 3 p.m. Texas Christian vs. Colorado State-SMU winner 5:30p.m. Fres no State vs. Wyoming-San Diego State winner 9 p.m. Utah vs Hawaii-UNLV winner 11: 30 p .m. Patriot L eag ue Championship Nav y vs Lafayette 4 p.m. MOTOR SPORTS GatornationalsFeature on AI Hoffman to advance the opening of Gatornationals at Gainesville Tim 18' with color mug in Merlin Gatornationals fact box GOLF DoralFirst round of the Dora l Ryder Open from Miami-Mike 16" Doral notebook (o ptional ) Mike Other Golf N ike Tour from Austin Te xas (Corresponde nt ) European PGA Qatar Masters Doha Qatar. Australasian PGA The Tour Championship Canberra Australia HOCKEY Follow on last night local game-Raid Local game box ( 151 ed i ton ) Undated local team stats Up co ming local games agate Thursday NHL games Chicago at Pittsburgh 7 p m Colorado at Ottawa 7 : 30 p m Boston at New Jersey 7 :30p.m Washington at Philade l phia, 7 : 30 p m 263

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Appendix 5 (Contin ued ) Montreal at St. Louis 8 :30p.m. Calgary at Vancouver 10 p m Detroit at San Jose, 10 : 30 p.m Carolina at Los Ange les 1 0 ; 30 p m Late Wednesday : Detroit at Anaheim PRO BASKETBALL Lo cal game scouting box-staff Thursday s games Ne w Y ork at Washington 7 p m Den ver at Milwaukee 8 : 30 p m L.A. C l ippers at Da llas 8 :30p. m Miami at H ouston 8 : 30 p m Detroit at Pho enix 9 p .m. Late Wednesday: Indiana at L.A. Lake rs San Antonio at Golden State Detro it at Sacramento. SOCCER Local team 4 p.m.-Ryan 6" ; shooting art of the game (o ne of the key players) FOOTBALL Local team free agency-staff mon i toring NFL roundup if news warrants OUTDOORS PAGE 264

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VITA Walter Lee Dozier received a Bachelor s Degree in Marketing from Western Illinois University (1972) and a Master s Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1983). He has worked in media as a photographer print journalist and copy editor He has covered news events in Europe Africa South America the Caribbean as well as North America. Whi l e in the Ph. D program at the Uni ve rsity of South Florida he was appointed news coordinator for the Anthropology News Network and has incorporated anthropological perspectives into his news reporting while writing extensively on gender sport and media issues


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