Who is responsible for the team’s results? Media framing of sports actors’ responsibility in major sports competitions
Media are no longer just a witness to sports events, facilitating our access to them, but have become the most powerful judging platform for sports competitions, serving as a guide for their interpretation and evaluation. The present study focuses on media framing of sports actors’ responsibility when it comes to major sports competitions. Who is responsible for the team’s performance and results?
In analysing media discourse, framing effects of sports events coverage will be examined from two inter-correlated dimensions, textually and visually. Based on an event-related corpus of on-line press articles from four national newspapers, this case study covers two major sports events: 2010 European Women’s Handball Championship and 2011 World Women’s Handball Championship.
The discursive analysis of the press articles shows that, if winning competitive settings favour the emergence of a personification effect, building up sports heroes on both textual and visual dimensions, the responsibility of failure is rather diffused towards a collective referent. However, the visual component of press articles, along with the indirect strategy of addressing the responsibility issue throughout reported speech techniques, works as an alternative to the personification effect.
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