Global Digital Communication: The 2012 Women’s London Olympics

TitleGlobal Digital Communication: The 2012 Women’s London Olympics
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Khaja, M. A. A., and P. Creedon
Affiliation (1st Author)United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
Section or WGMedia and Sport Section
DateThurs 27 June
Slot CodeSPOT1a
Slot Code (Keyword)SPOT1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
RoomHG09
Session TitleMedia, Sport and Global Events
Submission ID5258
Abstract

Global Digital Communication: The 2012 Women’s London Olympics The London Olympics won global gold medals in digital communication and in female Olympic competition.  Live video coverage was on the Internet around the world.  On Facebook people could build their own Olympic city.  On Twitter, there was a hash tag for each sport and live updates about all Olympic-related events including controversy. One tweet about Africans and the West Nile virus by a female Greek Olympian expelled her from the Olympics. Globally, media—from the BBC to ESPN and New York Times to The Times of India—had Olympics blogs. Youtube videos included athletes, the Olympic park and the torch relay. The multiple digital communication social media platform changed media coverage of the Olympics. The BBC offered 24 simultaneous live video streams in the digital Olympics.  CNN provided 272.5 hours of digitized Olympic coverage including a nightly prime time show; MSNBC 155.5 hours; NBC Sport Network 292.5; Bravo 56 hours of tennis; and Telemundo more than 173 hours.  For women, the Olympics made history. For the first time all countries competing had female athletes in their teams.  Time magazine dubbed the coverage of female athletes in London as “The Year of the Woman”.   More women than men competed for the US team.  Mixed-doubles tennis was reintroduced for the first time since 1924. Overall, this paper examines the media coverage of women athletes in the Olympics. Women’s boxing, for example, which was introduced in the 2012 Olympic games, continued gender bias in sports coverage.  It overviews the coverage of synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, the only two remaining women-only Olympic sports. It includes a specific examination of online, print and video coverage of the three countries that entered female Olympians for the first time.  Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei female Olympian coverage is reviewed in international and in the athlete’s national media.  It includes media coverage of Saudi Arabia’s judo entrant Wojdan Shaherkani.  Also, the coverage of the two Qatar female competitors, who won bronze medals (skeet shooter Nasser Al-Attiyah, and high jumper Mutaz Barshim), is reviewed.  In addition, media coverage of Brunei’s hurdler Maziah Mahusin, who was defeated in the first round of the 400 meter competition, but set a new national record, is examined.

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