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Re-imagining sports reporting: Creating social change in the area of transgender discrimination

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thesis
posted on 04.08.2020, 08:24 by Tina Tishev
The male-dominated hegemony that surrounds the world of sports creates a significant burden to individuals who do not conform to the ideal of a gender binary system and don’t refer to themselves as cisgender or heterosexual. Paradoxically, while sport has historically been a renowned method to teach fairness, equality and moral behaviour, today, this ideal is highly contested due to the handling of transgender “issues” of sports governing bodies and the sports media. This study, which falls into the gender, sexuality and sports media domains, seeks to explore how transgender people might re-imagine sports reporting in order to create social change in the area of transgender discrimination. It thus aims to propose suggestions for sports journalists who are covering transgender stories in sport. For the effective assessment of the study, a qualitative and participatory action research (PAR) approach was enacted as a method for scientific enquiry. A total of three participants were interviewed. The interview data, which was rich with suggestions about how to report about transgender issues objectively and informatively, was then used to inform a fictive story about a transgender athlete. This story was sent back to the participants, who were given the opportunity to give comments on the story. The findings of this study established that re-imagining sports journalism to create social change primarily entails providing readers with objective information, while also using correct terminology, ‘up-to-date language’, as well as integrating a humanising approach as a sports journalist.

History

School

  • Loughborough University London