How are British athletes portrayed in British newspapers after the 2012 Olympic Games?
The Olympic Games are considered as being the biggest sporting event in the world, where athletes from across the globe come together to compete in the 16 day event. With the ‘biggest show on earth’ having been held in Britain this summer, media attention was – and still is – at an all time high for sport in general across the country. This study looks at how British athletes were portrayed in a selection of British newspapers both before and after the 2012 Olympic Games, aiming to discover if there was any form of bias, whether certain athletes received preferable treatment from newspapers, and also an overall look at the coverage of the Olympic Games in terms of press coverage. A content analysis and textual analysis was carried out on 350 newspapers across a total of ten weeks – including a five week sample from 2012 and a sample from 2013 using the same time frame, to compare findings. After breaking down the newspapers, my research found that although there have been improvements in terms of eradicating any bias that has been present in the past in the British press (George et al: 1996), there was still bias present in terms of shunning athletes from certain nationalities. The findings also suggest that although tabloids and broadsheet newspapers may use particular athletes who are in the spotlight to help sell newspapers, they do not necessarily favour male or female athletes to achieve this.