Sporting images in black and white: Race in newspaper coverage of the 2000 olympic games

Marie Hardin, Julie E. Dodd, Jean Chance, Kristie Walsdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Olympic Games is a global sporting event framed in popular culture as promoting diversity and equal opportunity. This study looks at racialized depictions of U.S. Olympic (2000) athletes in 5 U.S. daily (4 regional and 1 national) newspapers. More than 800 images of U.S. Olympic athletes were examined to see if depictions mirrored the reality of the Games and if depictions reinforced notions of racial and sexual difference. The medal count of U.S. athletes, tabulated by race, gender, sport type, and sport category, was used as the “reality gauge” for this study. While the newspapers presented ratios of male and female competitors realistically, they overrepresented Black athletes. Black males were also overrepresented in strength sports. Such depictions reinforce hegemonic notions of Black primitive athleticism and of racial difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-227
Number of pages17
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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