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 A. Whisenant, Dwayne Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

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

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

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