The story of Pitkis-Sport in Satakunnan kansa : content analysis of newspaper articles on a children and youth sports camp
This study examines the media publicity of Pitkis-Sport, a children and youth sports camp, in Satakunnan Kansa, a regional newspaper. The representations of Pitkis-Sport in the paper during the camp’s 50 years of history from 1963 to 2013 will be explored by using qualitative content analysis. Furthermore, changes in the coverage between the decades will be highlighted. The study aims to find out more about how child and youth sports and physical activities are reported in Finnish regional newspapers. In addition, a quantitative table of published articles and photos is compiled and compared with the amounts of camp participants. The aim is to give insights for the future on how sport journalism should be developed in terms of covering child and youth sports. The research data was collected from issues covering the camp period (+/- 2 days) from two pre-selected sample years per each decade. Within the framework of qualitative content analysis, the data was coded by searching metaphors, repeated expressions and other noteworthy content present in the articles. Furthermore, a closer look at these findings, especially metaphors and authorities, was taken. The findings of the qualitative analysis were reported by analysing direct data citations together with researcher’s own interpretations and insights from extant literature. Moreover, quantitative research findings were used to support and inform qualitative data analysis. Although the quantitative part of the study was originally meant to play a supporting role, the negative correlation between the amount of published articles/photos and the number of children and youth attending the camp turned out to be one of the key findings. Therefore, it can be argued that the most remarkable shortage in the newspaper’s coverage was its low volume. Moreover, the qualitative research findings indicated that most interviewees in the articles concerning children and youth were adults. Descriptive writing style created narratives that were, however, often superficial and reinforced stereotypical perceptions of the camp participants. Although the newspaper improved the journalistic quality of its articles in the later decades by discussing, for instance, the camp’s societal contexts, several objectives for the development of journalism on child and youth sports remain. ...
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