First Faculty Advisor
Media Effect; Agenda Setting; Framing; Olympics; Sport; Gender
All rights retained by Caroline Butts and Bryant University
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has further exposed the difference in sports reporting between sexes. Creating social media controversy, viewers called out the sexist commentary directed towards women athletes emphasizing their relationship status, how many children they have, and male athlete accomplishments over the female’s athletic ability. This content analysis will dive deeper into NBC’s prime-time coverage of the twenty-third Olympiad, examining the sport and non-sport questions brought up during interviews with the male and female athletes. With reporters possessing more control over what is discussed on-air, when compared to live commentators, the goal of this analysis is to examine if a significant difference of sport-related themes remains between sexes, or if a few outliers are drawing disproportionate attention. No significant difference was found between questions asked during interviews with male and female athletes, however, there was a significant difference found between the mean number of non-sport questions posed by male reporters when compared to female reporters. Suggestions for future research are also explored.