Gender Bias in Newspaper Profiles of 1996 Olympic Athletes: A Content Analysis of Five Major Dailies

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This study compares newspaper coverage of male and female athletes during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Profiles of athletes in five leading U.S. newspapers were examined for incidence of gender bias in reporting and photography. The study found evidence of gender bias for a number of criteria; however, for other items, female athletes received similar or more favorable treatment than male athletes. The study found no evidence of gender bias in terms of quantitative representation of female athletes, or in the placement and prominence of stories. Overall, these findings suggest improvement—revealing less egregious bias than has been noted by previous studies of media coverage of female athletes.