The media coverage of female athletes has been an uphill battle ever since the passing of Title IX in 1972 over 40 years ago. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, this new age model of communication remains the low hanging fruit for shaping the ways in which female athletes are represented to a mass audience. Analyzing the content of the aforementioned platforms from the 2016 WNBA Playoffs and Finals seeks to answer four questions regarding the themes espnW and ESPN are communicating, how their messaging differs, the ways in which female athlete stereotypes are fed into or challenged, and the responses from espnW’s and ESPN’s social media following. Together, the findings relevant to each question imply a step in the right direction for how female athletes are covered today—for their athletic accomplishments and not for their sex appeal—but the overall volume of this coverage remains low. The battle continues for female athletes far and wide to find their footing and prove their relevancy in a male-dominated industry.
|Advisor:||Short, Calvin B.|
|Commitee:||Hardy-Short, Dayle C., Wu Nelson, Dorothy|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|Department:||School of Communication|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Sports Management, Communication|
|Keywords:||Basketball, Feminine, Gender, Masculine, Social media, Stereotypes|
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