The coverage of female athletes in televised sports news in finland
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The aim of the study was to discover if there is a difference in the televised sports news coverage of female and male athletes in Finland. The purpose was to examine the coverage of female athletes and male athletes in televised sports news of two major broadcasting companies in Finland and to compare the results of the broadcasting companies with each other. Two different channels’ sports news were analysed, the public service broadcasting company Yleisradio's channel TV1’s sports news program called Urheiluruutu and a commercial broadcasting company MTV’s channel MTV3's sports news program called Tulosruutu. The sample used in the study consisted of 12 broadcasts from each broadcasting company. The aim in choosing the dates for the study was to avoid weekends when major sport events took place in order to avoid them affecting the data. One broadcast from each month was chosen, to reach as broad selection of sport disciplines as possible around the year. The first broadcast chosen is from December the 12th in 2017, as choosing a broadcast from December 2018 was not possible due to timeline limitations of the study. The rest of the dates chosen for the study are from the year 2018 and they were: 7.1., 4.2., 11.3., 1.4., 27.5., 10.6., 1.7., 19.8., 9.9., 14.10. and 4.11.2018. The sports news broadcasts were analysed by using the quantitative content analysis method. The percentage of how much coverage female athletes receive in the sports news compared to male athletes was examined. Also, the duration of individual news stories and the duration of interviews of both male and female athletes were timed. The duration of both still picture and moving picture of athletes of both genders seen in the sports news were examined. The research also revealed in which sports female athletes and in comparably male athletes receive coverage the most. Also, the amount of how many times the sports news’ first story is about female athlete/s and about male athlete/s was examined. Finally, the results of both broadcasting companies’ sports news were compared with each other. The results showed that there is still male domination in the field of sports news broadcasting. The total coverage of female athletes in Urheiluruutu was 27 percent and for male athletes it was 65 percent. In Tulosruutu, the total coverage of women’s sports was 15 percent and for male athletes it was 80 percent. Notable amount of coverage is given to male athletes compared to female athletes in almost every area studied; in the duration of interviews, the duration of still picture and moving picture and the number and variety of different sport disciplines athletes receive coverage. There was a significant difference in the results of the two different broadcasts; the representation of female athletes in Urheiluruutu was distinctly more equal in terms of number of sport disciplines and amount of coverage than in Tulosruutu. Nevertheless, the sport disciplines where female athletes received coverage the most included sports that are traditionally seen as masculine, such as football, ice hockey and boxing. ...
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