Media framing of women’s football during the Covid-19 pandemic

Parry, K., Clarkson, B., Bowes, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-5635-106X, Grubb, L. and Rowe, D., 2021. Media framing of women’s football during the Covid-19 pandemic. Communication and Sport. ISSN 2167-4795

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This article examines British media coverage of women’s association football during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, to identify how the media framed the women’s game and how these frames could shape the public perceptions of it. Through a database search of British-based news coverage of women’s football, 100 news articles were identified in the first six months after the start of the pandemic. A thematic analysis was conducted, and five dominant frames were detected in the context of Covid-19: 1) financial precariousness of women’s football; 2) the commercial prioritisation of men’s football; 3) practical consideration of the sport (e.g., alterations to national and international competitions); 4) debating the future of women’s football; and 5) concern for players (e.g., welfare, uncertain working conditions). These frames depart from the past trivialisation and sexualisation of women’s sport, demonstrate the increased visibility of women’s football, and shift the narrative towards the elite stratum of the game. Most of this reporting was by women journalists, while men were shown to write less than women about women’s football. This research advocates continued diversification of the sports journalism workforce to dissolve the hegemonic masculine culture that still largely dominates the industry.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Communication and Sport
Creators: Parry, K., Clarkson, B., Bowes, A., Grubb, L. and Rowe, D.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 8 December 2021
ISSN: 2167-4795
Rights: Accepted for publication in Communication and Sport. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 12 Aug 2021 12:57
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2022 17:28

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