Journalism, gender, feminist theory and news reporting on the Australian Football League

Lennon, Sasha (2013) Journalism, gender, feminist theory and news reporting on the Australian Football League. eJournalist, 13(1), pp. 20-39.

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Abstract

This article reports on a review of selected theory and practice in sports journalism to determine if the prominence of female journalists reporting the news of a major sporting movement, and industry, the Australian Football League (AFL) could be attributed to a feminist response to the traditional domination of male values in the sports media complex.

The article reviews selected literature to establish that, on the evidence presented, male values have traditionally dominated the news. It then considers feminist theory and alternative feminist responses to the domination of male values in the newsroom. Consideration is also given to Australian research on the ‘seriousness’ of sports news and its coverage (or lack thereof) of more ‘feminine’ news values including human interest stories, stories about culture and those on serious social issues. Interviews with a select group of female journalists who write about the AFL for The Age newspaper in Melbourne are recounted, with a focus on the journalists’ work experiences.

The article concludes by drawing together the research findings to demonstrate that, although feminine news values are represented in only a small proportion of AFL news stories, there is evidence to suggest they are afforded a high degree of presentational prominence which reflects the needs and expectations of a female audience.

It shows that female journalists do play a meaningful role in the AFL media and that, given the evidence presented, a feminist response to the traditional domination of male values in the sports media complex could indeed be applicable, and taking place.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 69547
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Journalism, Gender, Feminist Theory, News Reporting, Australian Football League (AFL)
ISSN: 1444-741X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300) > Journalism Studies (190301)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2014 02:08
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2014 23:06

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