Analysing the print media coverage of professional tennis players: British newspaper narratives about female competitors in the Wimbledon Championships

John Vincent, Paul M. Pedersen, Warren Whisenant, Dwayne Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined 152 articles devoted to female tennis players competing in the 2000 Wimbledon Championships in The Times, Daily Mail, and The Sun, covering a 17-day period that coincided with the Wimbledon Championships fortnight. Based upon the theoretical framework of gender power relations, a qualitative textual analysis methodology was used to reveal recurring themes within the dominant discourse about female tennis players. Results indicate the narratives used by the predominantly male journalists devalued, marginalised, and trivialised the athleticism of the female tennis players. The British newspapers seemed equally infatuated with Anna Kournikova, who was portrayed as a kind of sporting Lolita, and her hyper-feminine peers, the 'heterosexual honeys'. In contrast, Serena and Venus Williams - the 'Amazons' - were subjected to racial bigotry. The racial distinctions suggested that the hegemonic standard of the media was a favourable bias towards White female athletes. The sociological implications of such coverage of professional female tennis players are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-300
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Management and Marketing
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 13 2007

Fingerprint

Media coverage
Competitors
Tennis
Print media
Theoretical framework
Power relations
Textual analysis
Journalists
Peers
Methodology
Discourse

Keywords

  • Discourse
  • Gender
  • Newspaper
  • Textual analysis
  • Wimbledon Championships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Strategy and Management
  • Business and International Management

Cite this

@article{f5584d8ba9144246919a410a43cf3fef,
title = "Analysing the print media coverage of professional tennis players: British newspaper narratives about female competitors in the Wimbledon Championships",
abstract = "This study examined 152 articles devoted to female tennis players competing in the 2000 Wimbledon Championships in The Times, Daily Mail, and The Sun, covering a 17-day period that coincided with the Wimbledon Championships fortnight. Based upon the theoretical framework of gender power relations, a qualitative textual analysis methodology was used to reveal recurring themes within the dominant discourse about female tennis players. Results indicate the narratives used by the predominantly male journalists devalued, marginalised, and trivialised the athleticism of the female tennis players. The British newspapers seemed equally infatuated with Anna Kournikova, who was portrayed as a kind of sporting Lolita, and her hyper-feminine peers, the 'heterosexual honeys'. In contrast, Serena and Venus Williams - the 'Amazons' - were subjected to racial bigotry. The racial distinctions suggested that the hegemonic standard of the media was a favourable bias towards White female athletes. The sociological implications of such coverage of professional female tennis players are also discussed.",
keywords = "Discourse, Gender, Newspaper, Textual analysis, Wimbledon Championships",
author = "John Vincent and Pedersen, {Paul M.} and Warren Whisenant and Dwayne Massey",
year = "2007",
month = "4",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1504/IJSMM.2007.012406",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
pages = "281--300",
journal = "International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing",
issn = "1475-8962",
publisher = "Inderscience Enterprises Ltd",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Analysing the print media coverage of professional tennis players

T2 - British newspaper narratives about female competitors in the Wimbledon Championships

AU - Vincent, John

AU - Pedersen, Paul M.

AU - Whisenant, Warren

AU - Massey, Dwayne

PY - 2007/4/13

Y1 - 2007/4/13

N2 - This study examined 152 articles devoted to female tennis players competing in the 2000 Wimbledon Championships in The Times, Daily Mail, and The Sun, covering a 17-day period that coincided with the Wimbledon Championships fortnight. Based upon the theoretical framework of gender power relations, a qualitative textual analysis methodology was used to reveal recurring themes within the dominant discourse about female tennis players. Results indicate the narratives used by the predominantly male journalists devalued, marginalised, and trivialised the athleticism of the female tennis players. The British newspapers seemed equally infatuated with Anna Kournikova, who was portrayed as a kind of sporting Lolita, and her hyper-feminine peers, the 'heterosexual honeys'. In contrast, Serena and Venus Williams - the 'Amazons' - were subjected to racial bigotry. The racial distinctions suggested that the hegemonic standard of the media was a favourable bias towards White female athletes. The sociological implications of such coverage of professional female tennis players are also discussed.

AB - This study examined 152 articles devoted to female tennis players competing in the 2000 Wimbledon Championships in The Times, Daily Mail, and The Sun, covering a 17-day period that coincided with the Wimbledon Championships fortnight. Based upon the theoretical framework of gender power relations, a qualitative textual analysis methodology was used to reveal recurring themes within the dominant discourse about female tennis players. Results indicate the narratives used by the predominantly male journalists devalued, marginalised, and trivialised the athleticism of the female tennis players. The British newspapers seemed equally infatuated with Anna Kournikova, who was portrayed as a kind of sporting Lolita, and her hyper-feminine peers, the 'heterosexual honeys'. In contrast, Serena and Venus Williams - the 'Amazons' - were subjected to racial bigotry. The racial distinctions suggested that the hegemonic standard of the media was a favourable bias towards White female athletes. The sociological implications of such coverage of professional female tennis players are also discussed.

KW - Discourse

KW - Gender

KW - Newspaper

KW - Textual analysis

KW - Wimbledon Championships

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34047271643&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34047271643&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1504/IJSMM.2007.012406

DO - 10.1504/IJSMM.2007.012406

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:34047271643

VL - 2

SP - 281

EP - 300

JO - International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing

JF - International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing

SN - 1475-8962

IS - 3

ER -