To start off, let me say that I am not a feminist scholar-to-be -- either in the "pro-women agenda" or in the "pro-traditionally disenfranchised population" way. But one of my big interests in media research is the notion of framing - in short, how the media covers what they cover. And there have been, to me, an interesting couple examples from the realm of women's sports lately.
One that really stood out was the Canadian Women's Hockey Team celebration after winning the gold medal in the Olympics. After the arena had emptied, several members of the team (including one 18-year old) came out and celebrated with beer and cigars. I thought it was ridiculously cool and fun, but the team drew some heat for it.
What interested me was the way the AP reporter framed his story. Note the words and phrases - "swigging bottles ... guzzling beer ... the antics." Clearly, this story - which could have been framed in a fun manner or in a neutral manner - was cast from the start in a negative light. And all the coverage of the incident stemmed from that initial frame.
This is why framing is, to me, so important for journalism professors to know. Framing is what we as reporters do every day, in every story. We may not know it, we may not call it framing, but it's what we do. Those choices we make - sometimes in a split second, sometimes without realizing it - can have a profound, lasting impact on the greater discussion.
What's everyone else think?