Media Games: The Non-Athletic Framing of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games by the American Media

Student Author(s)

Olivia Skatrud

Faculty Mentor(s)

In conclusion, I found that Darling is trying to break the mold of typical women’s magazines by photographing models of different races, sizes, and ages. However, there are still problems with the periodical, such as cost, the type of issues they focus on, the limited amount of issues per year, and the lack in this type of media that is accessible for women all over the world. Thus, hegemonic femininity is maintained through non-image-based features rather than images.

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This project aims to understand how American media framed the residents of Rio de Janeiro in their non-athletic coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Previous research conducted on media coverage of Olympic Games has approached the subject with a wider lens, merely mentioning that “other issues” are covered in addition to athletics. In contrast, this study adopts a narrow lens to unpack the cultural impact of the 2016 Olympics beyond athletics. Specifically, a qualitative textual analysis of new articles from June 2016 to August 2016 was conducted to understand the frames used to discuss the impact of the Games on the residents of Rio de Janeiro. Framing theory suggests that media shape how audiences understand topics. Although analysis is ongoing, preliminary results indicate that there is an even distribution of articles that prioritized how Rio de Janeiro’s cultural issues were a detriment to the Olympic Games and articles that centered on the well-being of the residents of Rio de Janeiro. Further, co-cultural theory will be used to analyze the quotes of Rio’s residents in the news articles to understand the communication strategies used by residents to articulate their opinion of the Olympics. The results from this analysis will aid in understanding the attitudes of Rio’s residents towards the Olympic Games and their government. Based on the literature, I expect that the residents of Rio de Janeiro will use communicative practices of emphasizing commonalities, developing positive face, avoiding, communicating self, and gaining advantage.

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