Differences in Official Athletic Website Coverage and Social Media use Between Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams
Since the implementation of Title IX, there have been significant gains in the area of equity between men’s and women’s sports. Instituted in 1972, Title IX has leveled the playing field by offering the same amount of opportunity for women as men. Deficient media coverage in female sports is a less examined and recognized issue among various types of Title IX violations in collegiate sports. The study examined if there was equal coverage between men’s and women’s basketball programs on the athletic department’s webpages and social media websites. The collected data included traffics for the athletic website, Facebook, and Twitter pages of Southeastern Conference institutions. The findings indicated that there was slightly more men’s coverage than women’s (53% vs 47%). Among those 14 schools, eight schools had more content coverage for their men’s team. Only six women’s programs received more official website coverage than their male counterparts. The exact tendency also occurred regarding the number of total Twitter posts. The analysis of Facebook posts displayed an unexpected result, as 13 schools had more posts related to women’s teams than men’s teams. The results tended to support the vital promotional role that social media may play to increase the awareness and popularity of women’s sports. In general, the schools’ official website still maintained an accepted coverage proportion toward both genders without heavily gravitated toward men’s teams. Practical implications are addressed for better utilizing social media to promote women’s sports and maintain gender equity in media coverage.
Chen, Steve Shih-Chen; Duncan, Terran; Street, Eric; and Hesterberg, Brooklyn, "Differences in Official Athletic Website Coverage and Social Media use Between Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams" (2016). Faculty Research at Morehead State University. 197.