First-year Penn State Ph.D student and Curley Center researcher Dunja Antunovic shared findings of a recent study on women’s sports blogs at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport on Friday morning in Minneapolis.
Antunovic examined five blogs in a three-month period on the Women’s Talk Sports online forum, where women athletes and the issues they face are often discussed. These types of sites can serve as places to empower women as female athletes are often portrayed in dubious manners by mainstream media, she said.
The bloggers who did not self-identify as fans treated their blogs in a more communal fashion, trying to interact with all readers through events for example.
An interesting result of the study was that big issues such as Title IX or the lack of media coverage for women’s sports seemed to be treated on the same level as posts about “news”, such as a certain game.
Antunovic, who worked on this project with associate professor of journalism and associate director of the Center for Sports Journalism Marie Hardin, concluded that there is plenty of untapped potential in blogs of this nature to advance the cause of more equality for women’s sports and to raise the level of discourse at the same time.