Marie Hardin, Ph.D., is the associate director for research in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University and will be a panelist for the Tucker Center Distinguished Lecture Series on social media and women’s sport.
Does ‘new media’ bring new attitudes toward women’s sports?
Unfortunately, no. But we have new tools and platforms for our advocacy.
Social media, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, have changed the way sports news and commentary is presented and consumed by fans. The “transmission model” for sports coverage, where media professionals were the gatekeepers for what did (and did not) get ink or airtime, has disintegrated. Coverage and commentary is now much more user-driven and community-oriented.
These changes have, for women’s sports advocates, sparked hope that female athletes and sports would finally receive the “fair shake” they deserve after a long history of marginalization. Institutional media in every form have always unfairly allocated the lion’s share of coverage to men’s sports.