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The Media Framing Effect in Track & Field

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  • The Media Framing Effect in Track & Field

    [from info in a home-page-linked article]

    We all know that local media skew the performances of local teams to accentuate the positive and make teams look better than they are. The national media do that as well, and tend to shape our opinion on how 'good' something is, be it a sports team, a movie, a book, or especially people and ideas in the political arena.

    There's a cool new name name for this old phenomenon: "media framing effect"
    It's how the media's coverage of events influences public perception of those events.

    So the question is - what are the American media doing for T&F?

    1. Playing up the PED angle to the max
    2. Creating rivalries (Jam vs. USA)
    3. Creating 'stars' (Bolt)
    4. Reporting major meets and marks.

    What it is NOT doing:

    1. publicizing upcoming meets
    2. Creating more stars than just the obvious
    3. reporting anything BUT the most major meets/marks

    The US media are 'framing' T&F as a PED-infested sport with just a small handful of stars that disappear except for OGs and WCs.

    What would it take to change that image (ahem . . . cough . . . USATF) or CAN it even be changed?

  • #2
    I agree with you 75%. But I have to say that the athletes, the cheaters who failed the test is the reason behind the media. I also think Bolt is responsible for creating all the talk from the media. He's a great performer on & off the track. He's not boring to watch. He makes T&F exciting to watch. He brings action & excitiment to the sport. I promise you where i work, many people here couldn't tell you one person who is currently competiting in T&F before Bolt. Now, i here people talk about Bolt and others since 08. I think we should take responsiblilty, especially American T&F athletes. Some of us have to make noise excluding the drug noise.

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    • #3
      It's not just the American media that frames the thoughts, but beyond that. An individual should be able to discern between fact and fiction.
      on the road

      Comment


      • #4
        Marlow's point discerns 'fact from fiction', and it is clear that the media does not mention that Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodrigues, etc. have taken PED's. I even watched that idiot skip bayless try to justify that "he only took it to get over an injury". This from the same guy that never missed a chance to bury Barry Bonds.

        Again, Marlow is correct: the media frames the simplest mind [individual(s)] of the reading/listening/viewing public.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HotTrack
          I agree with you 75%. But I have to say that the athletes, the cheaters who failed the test is the reason behind the media. I also think Bolt is responsible for creating all the talk from the media. He's a great performer on & off the track. He's not boring to watch. He makes T&F exciting to watch. He brings action & excitiment to the sport. I promise you where i work, many people here couldn't tell you one person who is currently competiting in T&F before Bolt. Now, i here people talk about Bolt and others since 08. I think we should take responsiblilty, especially American T&F athletes. Some of us have to make noise excluding the drug noise.
          The individual athletes never make the news. That has been made clear over the years. As was mentioned, we do not see baseball paraded in the national or international media as a PED ruined sport. I am sitting here right now watching the playoffs, the stands are full and loud and when ARod comes up I do not have any comment on his PED use or his cousin, nada. All media decisions and fan driven.
          It is not about what has happened, this is about how it is handled afterwards.

          And ppl have proven over and over again they do not care to discern fact from fiction so what you are told will become fact, sometimes despite the truth.

          Comment


          • #6
            The media takes from it; what the fans make of it.

            Just check some points form discussions on this forum (and this is where the more ardent fans hangout) and the negative erosive arguments put forward by fans (as a poll) and we see how we can justify the media's point of view.

            We can't blame them we need to blame ourselves.

            Comment


            • #7
              ...not exactly true.

              The media dare not run the NFL, MLB story beyond it's shelf-life because they are PARTNERS. NBC, CBS, FOX and ESPN/ABC are all networks who have paid billions to broadcast these games, they are not going to sabotage their own bottom lines with negative stories that get between advertisers and fans. Not going to happen. The local beat-writer or on-air analyst knows that (s)he will be locked out of the clubhouse if the stories are too negative, too long.

              Track, on the other hand, does not have that protection. The expert/insider/fan just pours the gas and lights the match when it comes to track comments, taking a perverse joy in exhibiting perceived power to a limited audience.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 7-sided
                ...not exactly true.
                Are you kidding me?

                Originally posted by 7-sided
                The expert/insider/fan just pores the gas and lights the match when it comes to track comments, taking a perverse joy in exhibiting perceived power to a limited audience.
                You are saying exactly what I'm lamenting!! As I said, the number of times I've read this statement form guys here: "...and we are forgetting it's track you know, [then add all the negatives you wish]".

                Look at the recent hostility met toJeter for excelling the other day. There are even trackguys here so upset that a track star is curremtly one of the hottest sport commodities on the world scene (just see the number of views that will dispute this and you'll see)

                Said it before and and I say it again, Track fans, moreso the pundits are tracks worst enemies ; the media pales in comparison!!

                P.S. I buy the Media/NFL/NBA/NL incest story too, mind you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with pelpa completely. The public couldn't care less about steroids and sport. And why should they when we are inundated with prescription drug ads all the time.

                  Cialis, Viagra... 4 hour erections! ugh.

                  Now if Bolt was accused of something that would be big news, and the public would toss him overboard. But that is because he is a disposable hero---except of course in Jamaica---here today, gone tomorrow.

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                  • #10
                    Why would we consider track & field fans to be any different than the rest of society? By that I mean, simply a mircososm of society, track & field fans don't live on an island. Just like society loves train wrecks, some ardent fans in track & field love train wrecks as well. But again it comes down to the individual, be it society as a whole or track & field in particular, to form their own thoughts and weigh in on those.
                    on the road

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Speedfirst
                      But again it comes down to the individual, be it society as a whole or track & field in particular, to form their own thoughts and weigh in on those.
                      The problem is, without more contextual information, MOST people make suspect opinions, based solely on what the media feeds them. That's where this 'framing' comes in. The media 'frames' the major sports in a way to INCREASE interest, but having no dog in the T&F hunt, they leave us to twist in the wind. (Cliches R Us)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Marlow
                        Originally posted by Speedfirst
                        But again it comes down to the individual, be it society as a whole or track & field in particular, to form their own thoughts and weigh in on those.
                        The problem is, without more contextual information, MOST people make suspect opinions, based solely on what the media feeds them. That's where this 'framing' comes in. The media 'frames' the major sports in a way to INCREASE interest, but having no dog in the T&F hunt, they leave us to twist in the wind. (Cliches R Us)
                        Marlow that's media's job to feed, our job as the hearer's and/or viewers, is to discern. Those who allow the media to frame their thoughts, want to be framed.
                        on the road

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marlow
                          Originally posted by Speedfirst
                          But again it comes down to the individual, be it society as a whole or track & field in particular, to form their own thoughts and weigh in on those.
                          The problem is, without more contextual information, MOST people make suspect opinions, based solely on what the media feeds them. That's where this 'framing' comes in. The media 'frames' the major sports in a way to INCREASE interest, but having no dog in the T&F hunt, they leave us to twist in the wind. (Cliches R Us)
                          Marlow, you hit the nail on the head! Without context, and the general public has zero context because of limited to no interaction with sports like track and field, the media is the first and last word. The media's opinions are not only FRAMING THE DEBATE, but also creating an alternative reality, as you pointed out, correctly, in your initial post.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Speedfirst
                            Those who allow the media to frame their thoughts, want to be framed.
                            What about those who don't even know we're being framed, which includes, oh yeah, ALL of us at one time or another. We can't know everything about everything, so often the media's take is all we get, and we have to depend on them to be unbiased (yeah, right!). VERY few people understand what T&F is about, so we need the media, much more so than other sports (as astutely pointed out above, sometimes the media IS part of the thing being 'sold').

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marlow
                              Originally posted by Speedfirst
                              Those who allow the media to frame their thoughts, want to be framed.
                              What about those who don't even know we're being framed, which includes, oh yeah, ALL of us at one time or another. We can't know everything about everything, so often the media's take is all we get, and we have to depend on them to be unbiased (yeah, right!). VERY few people understand what T&F is about, so we need the media, much more so than other sports (as astutely pointed out above, sometimes the media IS part of the thing being 'sold').
                              It's not about knowing everything, that would apply to any situation where you don't know, track & field included. Nothing anyone can do if they don't know. But I will submit to you that even in track & field there are obvious things known, and to imply the American media is responsible or to blame, I don't see it.
                              on the road

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