The media includes newspapers, radio and television broadcasting, by which information is conveyed to the general public. Due to the media sports are presented in different ways to society and also affect athletes and spectators/fans in many ways.
Sports reports in newspapers can summarise events and appeal to a wide range of audiences at different times. There are two major types of newspapers: –
* The tabloids, such as The Sun or The Mirror. These tend to have a large section devoted to sport, but focus on particular types of sport, mainly those with broad appeal and male dominated.
* The Broadsheets, such as The Guardian or The Times. These tend to cover and analyse sport in more depth; they offer slightly more variety of sport but there is still a predominance on male sport.
Television has helped to bring lesser known or rarely watched sports to the foreground; it has helped participants to reach superstar status, and consequently raised the performers’ earnings. This has sometimes put athletes under great pressure to make more performance appearances than is good for them, physically or mentally.
Women’s sporting achievements are at times trivialised, and not recorded in a detailed way. There is minimal coverage of traditional women’s team sports such as Hockey and netball, which most girls play at school.
Participation rates and the success of women’s sport events have generated an increase in media and broadcast coverage. The increased coverage may have been driven by the accomplishments of women in the Olympic games. This has helped expand professional opportunities for women, and allow them to act as role models for other athletes.
Despite increasing participation rates and media coverage, there are some distressing signs. The growth of women’s sports is being threatened by the “Win at all costs” philosophy. Female athletes at all levels are beginning to mirror their male counterparts in terms of rule violations, and violence in sport. Several female Olympic athletes have been suspended or required to return medals because of doping violations.
Another distressing sign is that often, female athletes that are on the covers of sports magazines and appear in advertising campaigns are not always the most skilled athletes but the sexiest. An example can be given in the case of Anna Kournikova, a professional Tennis player who has yet to win a WTA Tour title, yet ranks amongst the top female athletes in terms of endorsement.
There is still very little coverage given to women’s sport and this affects the way in which their professional careers could develop. Many women do not become famous and therefore it is much more difficult for them to be chosen for a good sponsorship deal. Whist most men, especially in football, find it quite easy for them to pursue their career further due to the media.
Male sports such as football however receive a higher amount of coverage than women’s sports. The amount of money spent annually on sports in the UK is ï¿½250 million. Only 0.5% is spent on women’s sport and therefore the rest is spent on male sports. There are 42,000 Football clubs throughout Britain
Due to the media, football players are becoming famous and earning a lot of money form advertising. Some are even earning much more money by advertising and being in covers of magazines as models than by playing football. Although a huge amount of money is gained by playing. Most of the good football players are recognised by those who do not even follow the sport. This is because they are on television, radio or newspapers all the time and we have no choice but to see, listen or read about them at least once. On rare occasions do we hear, see or read about good netball players. Not many people know about elite netball players. This is because very little or no coverage is given to the sport.
In my point of view, I think that equal coverage should be given to every sport so that fans and other people interested in many different sports such as netball, hockey and table tennis could be able to acquire role models for them to follow, and enjoy watching elite players perform and gain extra knowledge on their sport. Right now there is an unfair presentation of sport to society.