Ringrazio Lucrezia Buongiorno che ha voluto ricordarmi nella sua Tesi di Laurea.
CORSO DI LAUREA MAGISTRALE IN
COMUNICAZIONE PUBBLICA E D’IMPRESA
The gendering of sport news: a research about the role of woman in the italian sport journalism
Tesi di Laurea di: Lucrezia Buongiorno
Relatore: Prof. Sergio Splendore
Correlatore: Prof. Federico Boni
Anno Accademico 2015/2016
If you do not believe in yourself, no one will do it for you. K. B.
- The gendering of sport news……………………………………………………………….. 8
1.1. Bourdieu’s theories: the field………………………………………………………… 8
1.1.1 Field as force’s meeting……………………………………………………………… 9
1.2. Concept of Habitus…………………………………………………………………….. 11
1.3. Power and Capital………………………………………………………………………. 12
1.4. Hegemonic theory………………………………………………………………………. 14
1.5. Summing up Bourdieu’s theories………………………………………………… 16
1.6. The concept of gender……………………………………………………………….. 17
1.6.1 Simmel’s theory………………………………………………………………………… 19
1.7. Strategies in the workplace………………………………………………………… 19
1.8. Sports journalism’s field……………………………………………………………… 20
1.8.1 Field theory in the journalistic context……………………………………….. 21
- Women and journalism……………………………………………………………………… 24
2.1. Women in the italian journalism………………………………………………….. 24
2.2. The numbers of italian women journalists…………………………………… 25
2.3. The Global Media Monitoring Project…………………………………………. 29
2.3.1 The italian Global Media Monitoring Project 2015…………………….. 31
2.4. Signals of change in Italy……………………………………………………………. 36
2.4.1 “La 27esima ora”……………………………………………………………………….. 37
2.4.2 Gi.U.Li.A……………………………………………………………………………………. 37
2.5. A special monitoring…………………………………………………………………… 38
- Sports women journalists…………………………………………………………………… 39
3.1. The first italian sports journalist………………………………………………….. 40
3.2. A question of capital…………………………………………………………………… 41
3.2.1 The capital nowadays……………………………………………………………….. 43
3.2.2 They are all journalists………………………………………………………………. 46
3.3. Why sports journalism?………………………………………………………………. 47
3.4. The concept of habitus……………………………………………………………….. 50
3.4.1 “A woman understands nothing about football”…………………………. 52
3.5. Power to women…………………………………………………………………………. 54
3.5.1 Power or secondary role?…………………………………………………………. 56
3.6. Hegemony in the sports newsrooms…………………………………………… 58
3.6.1 Hegemonic difficulties……………………………………………………………….. 59
- Conclusions………………………………………………………………………………………. 61
After my Erasmus experience at University Carlos III of Madrid in the faculty of “Comunicaciòn Audiovisual y Periodismo”, the already present interest for the journalistic world, has mainly grown up. For this reason, I decided to dedicate my final work for the master thesis to the journalism and to the sport that are two of my big passions. Indeed, with the participation to the spanish course “Periodismo Deportivo”, I actually started to think about a possible insertion in this field and, since I am woman, to think how the actual society see and live what we can call a “change of view”: the continuous insertion of women in sport media.
In particular, I want to dedicate my work to sports journalism related to the role of the woman because I noticed that there was in the history, and still there is, a different work conception based on gender differentiation. My work will focus then to sport journalism because this is a developing field in which the image of the woman can be object of researches from two perspectives: how the sporty woman is presented in the media and how much a woman can be considered in the journalistic workplace. For my work I decided to concentrate to the second issue, that is actually how a journalistic woman is considered and seen as expert of something which, in the time, has always been considered of a male domain.
So in the first part of my work I want to introduce briefly the theme explaining, according to the sociologist Bourdieu’s theories, how the journalism has seen and faced the insertion of women in this context. To do this I chose to present the four aspects that are central to the Bourdieu’s analysis which are: field, power, capital and habitus. Field’s notion refers to the work environment in which women, to exceed, have to use different types of strategies like, for example, competition, specialization and expansion. Power is seen as the field’s force, because it can guide every decision taking within this context. In addition, power can be also considered as cause of the so called gender differentiation because, as it will be explained in the development of the work, women that occupy a high position, are surely less than men. Capital, according to Bourdieu’s arguments, is the capacity to transform something that is strictly personal and different from every one, into work. It is the capital that distinguish the woman’s work from the man’s work. The difference has not to be considered only with a contrast good work or bad work, but it is important to distinguish with a more complete vision, which can include character’s differences, a different kind of sensibility, a different way to interprete or narrate events and similar. In conclusion habitus can be considered as the way in which a journalist woman works actually and how is showed or appears in the journalistic context.
Focusing on the sport journalistic context, which is the object of the entire work, and to better understand all these theories, I choose to evaluate different journalist’s experiences personally, through direct interviews to ten sports women journalists. Reporting different parts of these interviews, I will explain all the Bourdieu’s theories to show them in a more easily way, with testaments and real experiences. So in the central part of my work, I wanted to investigate the “problem” directly asking to professionals of the sector and journalists, mainly to have an idea about a possible different treatment, both in the history and in the current days.
But before introducing this part that results central for the work, I chose to show real data about the presence of women in the different journalistic contexts. Indeed, in the second chapter, through tables and distinct datas, different investigative results are showed to introduce the theme in a empirical way, exceeding the just sociological introductive part. It is also interesting, in the second chapter, the part dedicated to the italian experiences that were born to focus on women’s situation and expansion. It results fundamental consider the problem that decision-making positions in the sport media are then likely to continue to be dominated by men who tend to use metaphors, images and symbols that are closely allied with their gender. The relatively low percentage of women and minority sports women journalists suggests dynamics of exclusion. Therefore, gender differentiation is considered a social problem related to the era in which we live; for this I wanted to directly investigate this situation within an environment that is of big interest for me.
The question to which I would like to have an answer, through the different interviews, are simple and are connected to the Bourdieu’s analysed issues. They are connected to the specific questions that I personally make to the different women interviewed journalists. The outline of the interview is presented at the end of this work, in the final appendix.
The objectives are to focus on personal career and experience with journalism and understand which are the sport journalism motivations. Then it is important to have a clear idea about the different types of sport journalism organizations and about the factors influencing women journalists decisions on joining given type of organization (or building own platform). To have a more complete vision of the different journalists’ experiences, I chose also to examine the various types of education and the ways a journalist acquires and develops (or not) the necessary skills to impose in the workplace. Another issue that I considered important to deepen, is the level of professionalization focusing on the area of sport journalistic activity and its links with educational background. Also the ability to engage in collaborative forms of journalism with the likely gender differentiation is another of the analysed perspectives. Finally, to conclude, I wanted to focus on understanding the woman insertion and on the ways about how a woman can enter in the journalistic workplace.
1. THE GENDERING OF SPORT NEWS
This essay tries to contribute to the debates about the role of woman in the workplace, focusing above all on the journalism context and specifically on the sport field. In this introduction I decided to analyze the concept of gender, situating Bourdieu’s unique approach to media studies in the context of his broad theory of fields and also notions about power, capital and habitus. For this part I decided to consult the book “Bourdieu and the journalistic field” by Rodney Benson and Erik Neveu. Also gender results an important term in field observations: it will be analyzed with some observations also by Toril Moi, a nowergian sociologist and George Simmel, a german one. After that, the work will focus on the different strategies that a woman can show in a possible and ideal work environment, that are competition, specialization and expansion. These are described as possible ways to obtain a fair portrayal of women in the mass media. In the following part it will be described, in a very short way, how sports journalism can take a position within journalism field.
1.1. Bourdieu’s theories: the field
Pierre Bourdieu was a french sociologist of the twentieth century, whose work was primarily concerned with the dynamics of power in the society. In the book by Benson and Neveu it can be found the analysis of the journalistic field related to external and political pressures. The context of the journalistic field as developed by Pierre Bourdieu and colleagues, offers a new way of understanding and explaining the constraints and processed involved in news media production. Also the links between field, power and gender are a central theme in Pierre Bourdieu’s analyses of the conditions applying to women and men in society. The analysis of power and gender in journalism that will be presented during the development of this work, is therefore inspired by Bourdieu’s theories of gender and the reproduction of social power.
As Bourdieu defines it, a social field (in this particular case, the journalistic context) consists of a system of competing social relations, where individuals and institutions compete for the same stake. The actors use different strategies to acquire positions and influence. What is at stake is success, prestige, status and, ultimately, the power to decide who shall be recognized as a member of the profession and what constitutes good and valuable journalism.
Bourdieu’s field theory follows from Weber and Durkheim in portraying modernity as a process of differentiation into semi autonomous and increasingly specialized spheres of action (e.g. fields of politics, economics, religion, cultural production). Both within and among these spheres – or fields – relations of power fundamentally structure human action. Individuals do not simply act to maximize their rational self-interest. For Bourdieu, the sources of competition go much deeper, via his extension of Saussurean linguistics to the social sphere. What is “real” is “relational” and thus to exist socially is to mark one’s difference vis-à-vis others in an ongoing process that is enacted for the most part unconsciously without strategic intention. “To think in term of field is to think relationally”, Bourdieu emphasizes, adding that “in analytic terms, a field may be defined as a network, or a configuration, of objective relations between positions.”
1.1.1 Field as force’s meeting
Regarding field’s theory the heart of Bourdieu’s approach is “relationally”, that is the idea that cultural production and its products are situated and constituted in terms of a number of processes and social realities. Cultural products and producers are located within “a space of positions and position-takings” that constitute a set of objective relations. It can be considered a clear definition of field because it is understood how in the field, for this case the journalistic context, different forces and different factors are involved in. The space of literacy or artistic positiontakings is inseparable from the space of literary or artistic positions defined by possession of a determinate quantity of specific capital and, at the same time, by occupation of a determinate position in the structure of the distribution of this specific capital. The literary or artistic field is a field of forces, but it is also a field of struggles tending to transform or conserve this field of forces.
In this case the sport journalism is the field and the forces that are in, are different. According to Marani’s words “For which reason is a thing for male or for female? It does not exist. This is a question of aptitude, of predisposition. Aptitude has not male or female sex, neither it can be considered neutral. Methods are absurd, they are ignorant and generalised. I do not understand the limits that are imposed and forced by those who arrogate the right to make a law that though it is not written, it is official and legitimate”.
So it results very important to consider the sport field within the superior journalistic field. The forces that play in these can be the same or different, it depends from the point of view that is considered. Indeed if it is considered the journalistic context in general, it is fundamental to distinguish his different sectors that are many, as illustrated from the table at the page 23 of this work.
Sport has to be considered a single sector and historically it can be seen belonging to the male world. The question can be seen as a division of labor, which is an embedded organizational practice in which positions or jobs tend to be associated with a specific group of people. Consequently the selection and the hiring in the sports journalism are based on gendered criteria that those doing the hiring, associate with those positions.
1.2. Concept of Habitus
Fundamental to Bourdieu theories is understanding of structure and agency, that are the ways in which society shapes individual actions (and vice versa): the notion of habitus. Habitus is defined as: “a structuring structure, which organizes practices and the perception of practices […] configurations of properties expressing the differences objectively inscribed in conditions of existence.” Or as he notes elsewhere, “To speak of habitus is to assert that the individual, and even the personal, the subjective, is social, collective. Habitus is a socialized subjectivity”. The notion of habitus expresses a reasonable hypothesis: that individual’s predispositions, assumptions, judgments, and behaviors are the result of a long-term process of socialization, most importantly in the family, and secondarily, via primary and professional education. Habitus is not unchangeable. In fact, it is constantly being modified. Neverthless, early experiences and practices, shaped by one’s location in the social class structure shape those that follow. This observation results very realistic in the journalistic context, viewing and studying the role of woman in time. In the development of this work, it will be understood how the habitus of a woman in this particular workplace, has changed over the time, how it can change again and also how it changes analyzing different types of editorial offices.
Moreover, Bourdieu’s model places a greater emphasis on individual class (habitus) backgrounds (of both journalists and their audience) in addition to the morphological aspects of fields, that is, the number of agents seeking entry into a field relative to the number of positions available, the geographical ceoncentration of these agents and the positions the want to aspire.
1.3. Power and Capital
Capital involves many others aspects that can be used within a work environment. It is accumulated labor (in its materialized form or its incorporated, embodied form) when, appropriated on a private and exclusive basis by agents or groups of agents, in this cases agents are the journalists, enables them to appropriate social energy in the form of living labor.
In addition capital has to be used in all its forms and not solely in the one form recognized by economic theory. Economic theory has allowed to be foisted upon it a definition of the economy of practices. When the interviewed journalists spoke about their proper form of capital, nobody of them focused the attention on the economic aspect of it, apart from the explicit sentence of Irma D’Alessandro that adfirms “I earn my living with the little talent I have”. This is a clear form of economic capital, which involves the capacity of the Mediaset’s journalist to transform one of her capacity into work.
But the attention is mainly directed to the other form of capital, which is the cultural one. Cultural capital can exist in three forms: the embodied state, that is the form of long-lasting dispositions of the mind and body; the objectified state, that is the form of cultural goods and they are the trace or realization of theories or critiques of these theories and problematics; the instutionalized state, a form of objectification which must be set apart because it confers entirely original properties on the cultural capital which it is presumed to guarantee.
In the ongoing struggle that is society, two forms of power, or what Bourdieu terms “capital”, are crucial: economic and cultural. By economic capital, he means simply money or assets that can be turned into money. Cultural capital encompasses such things as educational credentials, technical expertise, general knowledge, verbal abilities and artistic sensibilities. The social world, as a whole, is structured around the opposition between these two forms of power, with economic capital, on the whole, being more powerful; and with fields inside fields inside fields (like a series of Russian dolls) parallel to each other in their internal organization. This similarity within a difference is what Bourdieu means when he describes fields as “homologous”.
The specific form of economic and cultural capital varies within each field, however. Inside the journalistic field, economic capital is expressed via circulation, or advertising revenues, or audience ratings, whereas the “specific” cultural capital of the field takes the form of intelligent commentary, in-depth reporting. Each field is thus structured around the opposition between the so-called heteronomous pole representing forces external to the field (primarily economic) and the “autonomous” pole representing the specific capital unique to that field. Fields are arenas of struggle in which individuals and organizations compete, unconsciously and consciously, to valorize those forms of capital which they possess. Organization or individuals who dominate a field are generally those who successfully convert to one form into the other, and in so doing, amass both “social capital” of friendship and colleague networks and “symbolic capital” through which their dominance is legitimated. Spatial, relational metaphors are used by Bourdieu to express his conception of the ordering of journalism, other fields, and the broad social world, all of which he conceptualizes in ”chiastic” terms. The vertical axis measures the overall volume of capital, whereas the horizontal axis measures the proportion of cultural to economic capital (by convention, Bourdieu has located the cultural pole on the left and the economic pole on the right). Moving from left to right in all social spaces, the proportion of (dominated) cultural capital decreases and the proportion of (dominant) economic capital increases. From bottom to top in the space of social classes, the overall volume of all forms of capital increases. Thus, at the “top” of the social space, one finds the “field of power” organized around the same basic cultural/economic opposition but with all actors possessing relatively high volumes of at least some form of capital.
The journalistic field is seen as a part of the field of power; that is, it tends to engage with first and foremost those agents who possess high volumes of capital. Within this field of power, however, it lies within the “dominated” field of cultural production – a field within this larger field. At its “left” cultural pole, journalism is part of the field of “restricted” cultural production (produced for other producers – small literary journals, avant-garde art and music, etc.), while at its “right” economic pole, it belongs to the field of large-scale cultural production (produced for general audience – mass entertainment, etc.). In its dominant tendency, the journalistic field belongs to the latter. That is, compared to other specialized fields within the broader field of cultural production, the journalistic field is “characterized…by a high degree of heteronomy” which is to say that “it is a very weakly autonomous field”. Neverthless, Bourdieu insists that even the journalistic field is best understood as a microcosm set within the macrocosm – it obeys “its own laws, its own nomos”. Via this conceptualization of the field, Bourdieu thus attempts to avoid the “reductionist” danger – or what he calls the “short-circuit fallacy” – of directly reducing journalistic or any other process of cultural production to broad societal level processes, whether political, cultural, or economic.
That is why it is important in this research understand how a woman can enter in this context despite the political, cultural or economic difficulties and in a field that, according to Bourdieu’s observations, has an own organizational system.
1.4. Hegemonic theory
In all fields there is an ongoing struggle for hegemony. One must have resources to atain a position that has access to the kinds of capital that are valued in the field. Capital, in Bourdieu’s view, is more than an economic phenomenon. On the contrary, whatever is valued and striven for in any given field, may be regarded as capital; it can be symbolic (status, prestige, legitimacy), cultural (education, savoir faire, titles,
distinctions) and social (family, personal contact).7 It will be analyzed the way in which women reach high positions, with what difficulties or competitors.
It is also important to understand how and in which ways a woman can compete in this “microcosm” that is the journalistic context trying to focus and analyze both the cultural pole (what characteristics a woman journalist brings into her work, for example sensibility or simply a different point of view) and the economic pole (how a woman can compete, can grow up in the workplace and if she can aspire to high positions).
Hegemonic theory is sometimes seen as another variant of political economy, which on first glance bears some resemblance to field theory. The notion of hegemony derives from Antonio Gramsci, who called it as a special attention to the role of intellectuals in shaping a society’s “common sense”. Stuart hall, Todd Gitlin, Dan Hallin and others were among those first to adapt the notion of hegemony to media research. Halling argues that hegemony captures the process “by which a world-view compatible with the existing structure of power in society is reproduced, a process which is decentralized, open to contradiction and conflict, but generally effective”. Likewise, field theory is concerned with how macrostructures are linked to organizational routines and journalistic practices, and emphasizes the dynamic nature of power. But the field and hegemony models part company in their conceptions of power and the potential for its transformation. Hegemony analyses usually entail functionalist-style conclusions, that is, that media systems will tend to “hold… communication within limits relatiely less threatening to the established order”. In field theory, journalistic fields do not always reinforce the power status quo, but under conditions may actually transform power relations in other fields. And because power is conceptualized as itself divided (between forms of cultural and economic capital, and, at least potentially,
The Gender of Journalism, The Structure and Logic of the Field in the
among various fields), the mechanism by which transformation as well as reproduction can occur are laid out much more clearly.
1.5. Summing up Bourdieu’s theories
The concept of field also incorporates influences arising from characteristics of journalist as individuals (social and educational background) and as a corporate group defending (and struggling to define) a professional identity. In short, the “field” opens up a new unit of analysis for media research: the entire universe of journalists and media organizations acting and reacting in relation to one another.
In sum, field theory positions itself precisely between those approaches (political economy or cultural) that commit the “short-circuit” fallacy and link news production directly to the interests of broad social classes or the national society, and those (organizational) that focus too narrowly on particular news producers. Field research thus calls for the examination of “institutional logics”: the simultaneous analysis of social structures and cultural forms, as well as the complex interplay between the two.
This discourse can be concluded simply by noting two modes of appropriation that make the most sense to the research.
The first, more modest incorporation of field theory would begin by building upon the categorizations of influences on news production offered by such media scholars as Herbert Gans, Todd Gitlin, Michael Schudson, Pamela Shoemaker and Stephen Reese. These categorizations include both broad macrolevel factors (political, economic and cultural) and microlevel factors including journalists’ personal and professional characteristics and the organizational dynamics brought to light by the classic newsroom ethnographies of the 1970s.
So the role of a woman, according to all these definitions and observations, is finally closely restricted to a series of factors that intervene in this specific sector. It is difficult to understand entirely all the aspects that occur in a specific field, but through specific interviews and different analysis it will come to a conclusion about how a woman has developed his role in the time and how much longer the situation can change or improve.
1.6. The concept of gender
A norwegian sociologist of our days, Toril Moi, observes that Bourdieu never considers social class as a field in its own right, nor does he speak of “class capital”. Gender is treated in the same way, that is a part of the general social field. Gender really varies socially and culturally; it is a combinatory category that infiltrates and influences every other social category. In Moi’s view, gender too, is a form of symbolic capital, having different value in different fields. Where femininity has negative symbolic value, a woman may compensate for it by acquiring other forms of capital: professional, cultural, economic or social. Thus, the central thesis in the feminist analysis of a field is that journalism – like all other fields – is gendered, but that the meaning and implications of gender vary between different media and over time.10
Inequality and relations of dominance and subordination characterize all social fields. Both power and leadership are generally associated with masculinity. The world of the media is no exception. Women’s representation in top positions has not increased in anywhere near the same proportion as the numbers of women in journalism as such. The positions of power that women have attained are mainly to be found in magazine publishing and public service broadcasting, both radio and television. The latter is an area where the political discourse on gender equality has exerted the greatest influence and the former is the portion of the magazine branch that addresses women as its primary target group.
The Gender of Journalism, The Structure and Logic of the Field in the
What Bourdieu characterized as “the position of the dominated” can be seen in the journalistic context as the women’s place in the journalistic production field. Like other cultural production fields, journalism is characterized by contradictions between “commercial” and “noncommercial” and between those who emphasize producers and their field and those who attach more importance to the receivers, to sales and success as measured in circulation and raitings. The difference in status between “high” and “low” culture, between elitist and popular, intellectual and commercial, between specialization and mass production is reflected in the different status of “masculine” and “feminine” in journalism. This is not to say that all male-dominated genres are accorded for high status. Sports and crime news are male-dominated genres too, but their value and quality have been seriously questioned. Status in the field also has an obvious class dimension and the inserction of class and gender in relation to power in the journalistic field has been clearly apparent throughout the twentieth century. 11
The field of journalism may be seen to occupy the intersection of three fields of forces: the political, the economic and the professional. The strenght of the respective fields has waxed and waned, for which reason the power bases in journalism, too, have shifted – a factor that has been of central importance for the gender order in the field. Four are the central questions or themes that according to Bourdieu theories will be used as starting points during the writing of this work.
The first is, what places and positions have men and women, respectively, occupied and now occupy in the field of sport journalism. The second concerns recruitment to the profession and the kinds of capital women and men have accumulated. The third question is the degree to which the definition of “good” journalism is gendered, that is which professional positions, media and genres have conferred status in the different periods
The Gender of Journalism, The Structure and Logic of the Field in the ”, p. 97-98
and if this status has had a gender dimension. The fourth question concerns the forms the struggle between men and women in the field has taken and if actually a struggle has taken place between the two different positions and what strategies are really effective.12
1.6.1 Simmel’s theory
Another sociologist of the twentieth century is famous for his theoretical writings on men, women and modernity: the german George Simmel. He focused his works on a deep ontology of gender that fatefully consigns woman to the wastelands of his philosophical imagination, while releasing man, and man alone, into the more fertile and productive workings of his sociological imagination. So Simmel constructs a masculine ontology of the social.
So, always speaking and referring to the journalist context and the sport context too, it can results extremely difficult for a woman live and work in an environment that operates according to male standards and criteria and the obstacles women face when they attempt to gain a sense of autonomous female identity in male-dominated culture, will be one of the results of this research.
1.7. Strategies in the workplace
From the point of view of a woman and as said and analyzed by Bourdieu’s theories, in all fields and at all levels inevitability women occupy disadvantaged positions. Being a woman in a male-dominated field, as the sport journalistic one can be considered, makes it necessary to develop specific strategies to improve and to take success and possession of positions in the field.
Three principal strategies have been developed in the course of the century: strategies of competition, specialization and expansion.
The Gender of Journalism, The Structure and Logic of the Field in the
In the competitive strategy women vie with men for the same stakes. To succeed in these contests, women journalists have needed to acquire more of the kinds of capital that are valued in the field (education, contacts, personal networks) than most men have. They have to become “one of the boys”. The capital that women brought can vary according to aristocratic heritage, experience of living abroad, knowledge of languages and/or academic education.
The specialization strategy means using one’s specifically feminine capital to the full by specializing in subjects and genres that particularly appeal to women, striving to become “one of the girls”. Magazine publishing and women’s supplements in newspaper are prime examples of openings for this strategy.
The third strategy, expansion, means finding openings in the journalistic space that allows the development of new genres and styles in areas before they have become gendered.13
These three strategies will be the three tracks on which the different interviews will be directed, with a proper specification about how the single woman journalist has used or will use each of them to assert its position in the workplace.
1.8. Sports journalism’s field
Sport journalism is an important part of contemporary media, but it is a sector that has not received the detailed analysis of other areas of industry. Now it will be analysed the role and the presence of sport journalism in the journalistic field, through Bourdieu’s field theory.
Sport journalism is a significant component of contemporary journalism that is not considered to possess high levels of capital when compared with more pure forms of “serious” journalism. However, while sport does not contain the power and prestige, in relation to print and online content
The Gender of Journalism, The Structure and Logic of the Field in the ”, p. 98
or its journalists, it has designed daily space across media platforms and provides a vital element in the balance of overall news coverage. Given these conditions and costraints it is valuable to situate the sports journalism field within Bourdieu’s journalistic field. The increased demand on online publishing in traditional print news organisations has created a force that has had an enormous impact on the operations of journalists, organisations and media systems. As result, the journalistic field has been transformed by these extra pressures and structures, which have had substantial implications for the sports journalism sector of the industry. Shifts in organisations’ capital have occurred due to changing financial circumstances and commercial factors, along with greater demands in terms of publishing platforms, technology, content and workloads. It is therefore beneficial to track these changes in a contemporary context, by examining the forces at play and the circumstances within the different organisations in which the following interviews have taken place.
1.8.1 Field theory in the journalistic context
As said before, Bourdieu situates the journalistic field in the overall field of power, within a smaller field of cultural production. In journalism, the sociologist argues the field is based on opposition between maret and pure elements. The conflict of these two factors in the contemporary field has been further complicated by the competition between newspapers and the world wide web. At the cultural of journalistic axis, elements such as independence, autonomy, industry principles and intelligent or investigative reporting are considered valuable. These aspects can often be in opposition to economic factors, including circulation or audience size, advertising income and profit. Journalistic capital is the combined level of cultural, social and symbolic capital. These elements are particularly effective in determining the amounts and types of capital accumulated by individuals and organisations in the sports journalism field. Bourdieu states ‘the field is a structured social space, a field of forces, a force field’. Inside this space there are people who are dominant and dominated, highlighting the battles of the actors as they ‘struggle for the transformation or preservation of the field’. Within the terms “dominant” and “dominated” it can be inserted the treatment gender, with the cultural and social position of the women and that of men. How a woman can distinguish herself in the sport journalistic field, probably thanks to the strategies described in the previous paragraph despite the fact that sports journalism is an aspect that has received relatively minor mentions in field theory studies.
As already explained and showed at page 3 of this work, Bourdieu defines a sort of scheme in which the vertical axis measures the overall volume of capital, whereas the horizontal axis measures the proportion of cultural to economic capital; the cultural pole is on the left and the economic pole on the right. In the following graphic it can be seen that sport sits predominantly on the economic capital side of the axis in the journalistic field, but with a small part of the sub-field in the journalistic capital section.
Figure 1. Sports journalism in the journalistic field.
2. WOMEN AND JOURNALISM
After have presented the analytical framework of field theory and discussing it in relation to newsroom, in this part of the essay I will try to show how the reflexive sociology of Pierre Bourdieu can be used to analyse the real structure of the journalistic context and how a woman takes part in it, by analizing data and researches of the last years. This is important to understand how Bourdieu’s theories and approaches can be used and analysed in order to explain and deepen the issue of women’s insertion. This has been done with convinction that the conditions and the experiences of the women journalists can have a strong impact on the contents and quality of information and also to understand how women, as newsmakers and sources, can play a central role in the news, focusing also for the results of this particular research, in the sport news. I will present a world project whose name is Global Media Monitoring Project that can clearly show how the role of woman tries to find space in this context. After a general presentation, I chose to present how the project has been developed in Italy. In the conclusive part of this second chapter, I will show two italian initiatives that promote the insertion of woman journalist’s insertion, also through an improvement in the treatment of the woman in the news. It will be eplained how the two different issues are, in reality, strongly correlated.
2.1. Women in the italian journalism
For this part the essay that will be consulted and analysed is “Donne nel giornalismo italiano” by Monia Azzalini. Thanks to this, it will be tried to investigate the path of italian women journalists by an accurate analysis of the latest data and research outputs and a careful consideration of the recent national changes, focusing in particular on the efforts made for a pair portrayal of the women in the mass media.
The initial point of the research is a question and it is about the great presence of journalists women in television compared to the little presence of women in decision-making positions and, for this, it seems they are seen as powerless to dictate the agenda information. The reason is that this investigation is important firslty to have an update about the status quo of a profession that, over the time, has seen a rapid affirmation of women. Talking about the specific sector of sport journalism, it’s true that the number of women journalists or simply of women that are involved in sport tv programmes or sport news media has increased. That’s why it is important to understand the real power of the women involved in this sector, being this a question that concerns the information as a whole.
In many countries of Europe, including Italy, the number of women journalists is really high, but it is not easy to understand in which way and how will be really efficient a likely rise of women in the decision-making places or in the newsroom that are generally male dominated. Furthermore it is thought that a change in the construction of the information context as a consequence of this constant upgrading of women in information professions or in general in the media environment is really possible, but it has not manifested yet.
It is important to underline the issue that a more equal representation of the female universe in the media can be the key to try to change and reach a real improvement. Indeed substantial changes in the access and in the expression in and through media, can really happen if there is also an assumption by who makes the news to engage to exercise the power to benefit women. So are professionals of information to have the power to do a more inclusive and a more respectful information of women.
2.2. The numbers of italian women journalists
A first data analysis by the italian institute of prevention of italian journalists (Istituto Nazionale di Previdenza dei Giornalsiti Italiani, from now on INPGI) clearly shows the statement of women journalists in numerical terms. Despite an overall decrease of the category from 2009, the number of women within italian journalists has reached, at the end of 2013, an average of 40,1%.
The following table taken from the Monica Azzalini’s essay can show the concrete numbers of the year 2013. The initials INPG1 means the subordinate workers, while INPG2 means those workers that are enrolled to the separate management, that is a type of coordinated and continuous collaboration.
|Total (women and men)
Tab. 1 Active journalists by sex, to 31 December 2013.
It can be seen that the female incidence is slightly higer in INPG2, that is that of self-employed workers. It is a little difference that can result almost insignificant and much more related to the membership’s generation and not to the gender, as it is showed in the following table.
(women and men)
(women and men)
|Up to 30 years
|31 to 35
|36 to 40
|41 to 45
|46 to 50
|51 to 55
|56 to 60
|61 to 65
Tab. 2 Percentage of journalists INPG1 and INPG2 comparison by age group to 31 December 2013.
It is also observed that enrollments to specific Masters or journalism’s school show a high attraction of women towards this profession, that continues to have a wide media coverage and probably also continues to represent a model for young female generations.
The data analysis INPGI about work connections of gender and position, of the year 2013, shows a progressive decline of women from the first levels of entrance in the profession to the the higher step of direction, where the women are less than one every three men. This results are clearly illustrated in the following table.
(women and men)
|High qualification Editor
Tab. 3 Work relations by level of qualification and sex (only dependent workers).
In this table it can be also noticed that the gender gap is really significant. Indeed editor’s category that is the most numerous and that of first level too among journalistic world, women are 45,3%. At level named Apical 2, which is the level that includes the editor-in-chief or the vice editor-in-chief, the female amount decreases at 32,1%. It is a difference of 13 percentage points and can clearly indicate the permanence of a vertical segregation in that sector which can be stated as decision-making in the italian information.
Another observation that can be done in this data analysis’ part, is that it is important to distinguist the different types of media in which journalists, both women and men, are involved. Indeed it results essential to calculate the gender distribution and notice if there are media’s categories that can be considered as mainly of male setting or mainly of female setting.
The daily press, despite the economic crisis that is facing during these years and a significant readers’ reduction, continues to benefit of prestige and authority and it is once again in male hands. According to a survey recently published online, whose name is Cinquepalmi 2015, over 65 newspapers surveyed by Audipress, only four are the names of women that are at the summit of a newspaper. In the newscasts’ case, which remains the main information’s source for the majority of italians people (86,4%) despite the advent of new types of media, it is observed that three are the women that are at the higher position.
2.3. The Global Media Monitoring Project
The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) is the largest and longest longitudinal study on the gender in the world’s media. It is also the largest advocacy initiative in the world on changing the representation of women in media. It is unique in involving participants ranging from grassroots community organizations to university students and researchers to media practitioners, all of whom participate on a voluntary basis. Every five years since 1995, when 71 countries all over the world have monitored the presence of women in radio, tv and journals news, GMMP research has taken the pulse of selected indicators of gender in the news media, studying women’s presence in relation to men, gender bias and stereotyping in this content. The research is conducted by hundreds of volunteers in 108 countries around the world.
As showed in the most recent surveys and reported in the fourth edition of GMMP, the number of women journalists, in the television context, consistently exceed 50% in terms of visibility. Another important result that comes out from the same edition is the female incidence of 57% within Tv hosts and of 52% within reporters. Furthermore if they are observed the main italians television news that are TG1 and TG5, the female journalistic representation is of 54%. On the other hand the visibility of women in other television genres results lower. Political talk shows, economic reviews or sport programmes, for example, see again the role of woman as secondary or simply as accompaniment, supporting the male domination.
This is the problem that persists in the italian journalism and that will be explored and presented in the development of this work, focusing the attention on the presence of women journalists in the sport context. The issue that will be also considered is an explanation about why women struggle to reach positions of power, both symbolic power or effective power. So it is important to consider the themes that are choosen to be presented. If the agenda is focused mainly on economic or political news which historically are thematic areas that do not support female interest, the result will be a low female interest. This occurs also when the majority of the people interviewed that favor the leadership of the country, are men. In addition to the newsmaking criteria they have to be considered the factors that intervene to involve the sex historically recognized as power holder. It is this cultural factor that do not favor women as direct sources of information. This absence of women is closely tied to ideas about status and importance. In most societies women are still assumed to have less status than men. Hence their views are regarded as less important. These cultural assumptions link with journalistic practice so as to privilege the male. It has to be considered the cultural factor to understand the real reason about the continue negligence of women as sources of knowledge and competence and to be considered only as anonymous proponents of public opinion. «If what we see and reed and hear are men’s voices, men’s perspectives, men’s news [then] women continue to be framed as passive observers rather than active citizens» (Ross, Carter 2011).
For this reason, it has been chosen to present in the following paragraph the results of the italian GMMP with a focus on the results regarding the real presence of women as journalists or reporters, more than the results that show a minority in woman representation as subject of the news, despite the fact that, as said before, it has been demonstred that they are themes that depend on each other. This two issues result therefore connected and it can bring to a possible solution.
2.3.1 The italian Global Media Monitoring Project 2015
In the date of 25 March, 2015 it took place the fifth edition of the Global Media Monitoring Project in Italy. That is why it wanted to be analyzed the situation of women as newsmakers, given the results that women were surpassed by men as newsmakers in all matters of the most important news and, in addition, as newsmakers, women were underrepresented in professional categories.
This project was attended by ten work groups from different italian universities (Bologna, Reggio Calabria, Padova, Roma La Sapienza, Roma Tre, Torino, Trento). The monitoring was conducted by students, researchers and teachers. In addition two women journalists and a professional of a social cooperative that operates with the promotion of gender equality, for a total of 100 people and 450 hours of voluntary work.
It is important also to investigate this problem because it has been discovered that the journalist’s sex can do the difference about the possibility to the woman to make news: the number of female subjects was higher in the news reported by women (28%) than those reported by men journalists (22%).25 The aim of GMMP is therefore that of both analyse the true role of the woman within the journalistic context and that of examine how the position of woman is represented in the different news media but, for the result of the research that want to deeply investigate the role of woman as worker in the journalistic context, only the outcomes regarding this will be presented.
For the italian edition it was chosen to analyse the main traditional media like daily press, radio and television; also information internet sites and Twitter to represent social networks’ world, were considered. Everything has been selected basing on the instructions provided by GMMP.
In the established sample day, it was the 25 March 2015 for the italian project, the news was that of the catastrophe of Germanwings plane; this
National Report”, year 2015, p. 1
news monopolized all italian media. They were detected a total of 603 people in press, tv and radio reports and the women were 21%. As it regard instead the online news and Twitter, considered in the social networks world, women were 27%.
In the following table they can be seen the monitored media for the italian
|Corriere della Sera
|Il Sole 24
|Il Resto del
Tab. 4 Monitoring media in italian GMMP 2015
Considering the traditional media, which are monitored for 20 years since the first edition of GMMP, it can be seen a progress. The woman presence, for example, has increased from 7% of 1995 to 21% of 2015. Women’s distribution, compared to men’s distribution, for theme’s information continues to show an evident marginalization of women in political news (15%) and economic news (10%); women exceed men only in the health and science news (64%).
As sources of expertise or specific skill or people invited to explain or comment a specific event, women are only 18% of people detected by GMMP 2015.
In the 176 news analysed in the sample day of the GMMP 2015, they were taken into account six thematic areas: society and justice, crime and violence, politic and government, economy, celebrities, arts, media and sport, science and health.
In the following table it can be seen the distribution of news for theme.28
Thematic area Total
Society and Justice
|Crime and Violence
|Politic and Government
|Celebrities, Arts, Media and Sport
|Science and Health
Tab. 5 News distribution for themes
In these other news registered in the same sample day, over 176 news that were written, drafted and presented in radio or television by a total of
241 journalists, only in the 36% of cases they were women, while In the previous edition (2010) they were 38%.
If to be considered is the comparison between news of local, national or international news it has been noticed that the proportion between women journalists and men journalists is fairly balanced: both deal with above all national news (50% women journalists, 51% men journalists); women are slightly more involved in local information (7% vs 2%) and less in international news. Returning to consider the Germanwings disaster, it has been observed that men reporters are more focused on this day news, while women are more involved in day news about crime and violence.
In the following table it can be observed the news distribution among women and men reporters.29
Arts, Media and Sport
“Global Media Monitoring Project p. 12
Tab. 6 News distribution for theme and for reporter’s sex
It can easily observed that in the sport context the gap does not exists, but the context that it is taken into account is a general journalistic context and not a specific one, as the sports sector, object of this research.
Another result that has come out from this kind of research is that women are only 18% of people that are recognized as sources of specific competence and invited to explain an event or a question. From the other hand it has been observed that it is greater, although far by 50%, their presence as subject of the news.
Another issue that can be observed is about the age of journalists. Regarding television reporters, this data can not be noticed because in the majority of cases the do not appear in video. On the other hand the journalsits that are involved in newscast’s conduction, in 100% of cases women journalists are young (35-49 years), while men of the same age are 80% with a 20% between 50 and 64 years.
All these results are not real statistics about the composition of newsroom, because the GMMP was born as monitoring activity, hence the results show the visibility of women journalists as presenters or correspondents.
In this final table it can be observed the dsitribution for the specific theme and for sex of journalist.30
“Global Media Monitoring Project p. 18
Society and Justice
|Crime and Violence
Media, Arts and Sport
Science and Health
Tab. 7 Distribution for theme and sex
2.4. Signals of change in Italy
As it can be observed in the previous paragraph, it results fundamental for an equal affirmation of the woman in the journalistic context, the link between the subject that is presented in the news and
who presents the news. That is why it is necessary to reinforce media power and sources power.
2.4.1 “La 27esima ora”
It is an example of this change the blog of “Il corriere della sera” whose name is “La 27esima ora”. This initiative was bor from the idea of Barbara Stefanelli, a woman power who is the vice of Il corriere della sera. In the year 2011 she decided to dedicate a field to those contents that regard women and can not always be present in the journal’s different editions. The name derives from a study that explains how the day of women in Italy extends for twenty-seven hours, growing on a private/public border that becomes flexible and uncertain.
At the beginning the blog involves only women journalists that are present in minority in the daily press. This is an initiative that continues to grow up, extending the activity beyond the the web, with cultural and social initiatives about different themes like work, violence, sexuality.
Another experience that has grown up in 2011 and it has become a proper association in 2012, is Gi.U.Li.A, whose name is an acronym that in italian means “Giornaliste Unite Libere Autonome”. Until today Gi.U.Li.A can count the insertion of more than eight hundred of women journalists that were and are all united to promote a gender equality in the society, focusing in particular on journalism’s world, and in addition to fight against discriminations and resistances, to defend woman’s image and to encourage freedom and autonomy of information. Gi.U.Li.A works also for a change in newsrooms’ life that, according to their view, are full of women journalists, but at the same time they are still dominated by male logics and interests. The objective is to support women journalists’ points of view, so that their sensibility and their professionalism can come out.
2.5. A special monitoring
According to the article “I numeri impietosi delle giornaliste donne in Italia” published by Magzine, a project of the University Cattolica of Milan, in an analysis of 2015 made over twelve national newspapers (two of them are sports journals) during seven days, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il corriere dello Sport show ruthless percentages about the presence of women journalists.
So I decided to make a little monitoring by myself to take a more personal idea of these data and to confirm them. I took as example a sports event that occurred in Milan last year, the Champion’s League’s final on May 28, 2016. For this occasion I took in consideration the internet sites of four daily journals, two of sports disposition (La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Corriere dello Sport) and two that are the main italian newspapers (Il Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica). I considered for this little research the day of the final and the day after to see how the different newsrooms have considered to present and how much space gives to an event of this importance.
Considering the day of the final, May the 28th, over 21 articles analysed, it can be observed that only 5 are written by women journalists (24%). The day after the situation is almost the same, if not worse. Indeed over 18 articles founded, only 1 is by a woman journalist (percentage of 5%). A first observation that can be made is that in the 5 articles considered three of them are about the city’s organization with information about metro’s timetables, security’s organizations and similar, one is dedicated to the interview to the woman that had organised the final’s pre-show, while only one is dedicated to the final.
Therefore the perception is that of a secondary role for the woman in this event’s context.
3. SPORTS WOMEN JOURNALISTS
In this chapter I will present my personal interviews, done with the proper purpose to investigate about the role of the woman in the italian sport journalism. To do this, I chose to contact ten people that deal with different types of journalism. I will briefly present them to clarify the explanations that there will be in the development of this part: the first, historically speaking, sport woman journalist in Italy who is Rosanna Marani; three women which work as television journalists for Telelombardia (a regional transmitting television of Lombardia) whose names are Elena Rosi, Stefania Scordio, Nathalie Goitom; Irma D’alessandro, which works for Mediaset (a private italian company active in media and communication); one woman journalist from Il Messaggero (a national historical daily journal with seat in Rome), Alessandra Camilletti; Maria Rosa Quario, which has been working for some years as journalist for Il Giornale, after being a professional skier; I chose also to speak with Elia Pagnoni, the director of the sports newsroom of Il Giornale (another daily italian journal) to have also a male point of view from one person that knows very well the journalistic context; in conclusion, I decided also to have two spanish interviews (Aimara Gil from Diario As, a sport spanish daily journal and Antia Andre, a sports journalist for Radio Nacional de España, the spanish public radio) to understand how the situation is in a country that is very similar to Italy for some cultural issues, but, at the same time, it can result different for others.
I will present the different interviews with some connections and references to the Bourdieu’s theories presented in the first chapter, so that to create explanations and clarifications about the sociological definitions using testimonies by people that really live or has lived the sports journalistic sector and for this they surely have a more complete vision of this.
The particularity is to highlight the diversity of the journalists’ experiences and also the various ways in which they define, organize and negotiate their personal work.
3.1. The first italian sports journalist
The first italian journalist was Rosanna Marani and it is important to put her at the beginning of this chapter, which will be entirely dedicated to the interviews. Indeed thanks to this interviews every issue of the Bourdieu’s theories that are been described before, can be analyzed with a proper reference and a real proof of how much the sports journalistic context historically has been considered a male world.
«Are you the first italian journalist?»
«They said me I am the first of Europe, when they came to interview me from Greece and Ireland».
«It is a honour for you, I think…»
«It is a labor, an obligation. I am speaking about 70’s, the first that made me write a sport’s article was Italo Cucci, who gave me a section named “Olimpiadi”. It was when I was working for Il Resto del Carlino. I do not remember the pseudonym that I used, it was particular, something like Linda Terror, something like that. I used a pseudonym because it was not so credible that a woman could speak about sport. It was such an incredible thing in these years; I arrived at La Gazzetta dello Sport in 1972».
Since this beginning it can be already noticed how the figure of Rosanna Marani continues to represent a symbol for the female journalistic movement, even after 40 years. Indeed from this first words it can be observed how much she feels to have reached an incredible aim. Through this interview it will be explained why a woman had to struggle so much to reach a position like that.
«I was well until I was a rare animal and I could cause stir, but after all of that I had to fight to obtain my rights». She speaks about rights, because it is in those years that Italy, as the rest of Europe, is in the middle of the struggle for rights and in the middle of the rebelion by social-cultural movements that protested about political and social prejudices. In these years the appearance of a woman journalist resulted so unusual. «The year 1972 is immediately after the ’68. If someone came to newsroom: ‘Excuse me, where is the administrary office?’ – ‘Why do you ask this to me?’ – ‘Are not you the secretary?’ – ‘No, I am a journalist’. Defending with anger, because I had anger inside me. It was normal at that time to not see a woman in a newsroom, among 60/70 journalists. A person could think that she could be the maidservant, the director’s secretary, the woman who brings the coffee, the custodian. There are mental and educational changes that remain fixed; this process is the progress that has brought our tradition. At that time if you ask to be operated by a woman surgeon, the world came down. There were absurd surveys like ‘Is better a traffic policeman or a traffic policewoman?’, things that now result so natural. It is the change that scares; now nobody sees if the dentist is male or female, while before the difficulty was evident. Everything that surpassed the usual was considered as a scandal. The same word “scandal” means get out from the regulation».
According to Bourdieu’s observations these words can be considered as an explanation of what the sociologist defines “journalistic field” as an analytical concept. Defining a field is primarily an empirical question and the structure of a filed depends, consequently, on the kind, amount and distribution of capital which structure the possible positions of agents.
3.2. A question of capital
Furthermore Rosanna Marani explains very well how much the so called defined “capital” by Bourdieu has resulted important and fundamental for her appearence in the sport journalistic context. Thanks to her words it can be introduced an issue that results central in Bourdieu’s theories.
«I have insisted on being considered a male, at least in the sense of equal opportunities. At the beginning all the interviews to wives or girlfriends were mine; same thing for weddings, public events or rumors. I like that, anyway. I could do this, because from the human point of view journalists should have this kind of sensibility and humanity and show them in their article, even in those that are strictly technical».
It’s here that the so called capital, considered a proper “female” capital, can come out and can be used as a good strategy to succeed.
It is explained by Marani also in the following extract of her interview: «When I specialised in the football, at the beginning some footballer did not give me confidence or gave me so much, but when the voice spread out that I was very reliable so that the type of sensibility that a woman has is not the same of a man, the football players started to open themselves. It occurred so many times that I decided to not publish those that in this environment are the so called exclusives or scoops, in order to avoid the footballer bad impressions. I had this same behavior when it happened that they were interviewed in moments of anger and it could occur that they said something wrong, but this does not appear in the journal later. My bigger talent is loyalty, I do not damage behind, rather I do it in front. All of this simplifies very much my work, because I was called to make exclusive interviews».
So it is the capital that distinguish a woman from men and a woman among other women. Everyone can decide how and in which way utilize her talent to emerge in a work environment. Elena Rosi understands this difference between men and women, but she describes it as normal and not as a real problem. «Objectively men are much more prepared than women, above all about technical terms. But we can count on other characteristics, like the appearance, the diction and many other things.
This does not imply that we can not be prepared. I, for example, see the games even if I am at home, I follow everything, but it is obvious that when my colleagues speak using technical terms like ‘No, I think it would be better if the team change the formation from 4-3-2-1 to 4-3-3’, in things like these I can encounter difficulties».
This is a form of capital and there is a clear affirmation that apital an be considerd different among women and men.
3.2.1 The capital nowadays
The capital’s issue do not absolutely belong only to the history of journalism, but it is always present in every environment today. In the journalistic context Marani clearly explained how she decided to use her.
Journalistic capital is a form of capital closely connected to the concept of peer recognition. In other interviews they can be found others proves of the different use of capital by journalists.
Maria Rosa Quario, for example, was a famous italian skier that won the world cup for four times and when she stopped with the sports activity, she decided to dedicate to journalism and started to write for a ski magazine and after that she presented herself to Il Giornale. «I obviously had a very known name, because I had been one of the best italian, and world, skier. Indeed everything started from my name and from my designation, but that’s why it is since I have six years old that I am skiing. Therefore it is a world that belongs to me and I consider myself as a deeply expert. This is very important. I am very technical for this activity and for this I can give very much to my articles and to whom reads me».
This can be considered a form of high cultural capital, because, as she admits, she considers herself, and she really is, a professional of the activity.
Not always the capital is showed in the most correct way. Aimara Gil, one of the spanish journalists interviewed, presents a perfect case of capital used in a bad way.
«I am a person who thinks that in every environment you have to work hardly, independently of being male or female. The positive discrimination seems negative because there are women that work for something are not prepared for, because as women they have to be for a simple society’s request. For example, during Euro 2012, when Spain won the title, there was as correspondent Sara Carbonero (the girlfriend of Iker Casillas, the spanish goalkeeper). During a series of penalty kicks, she went out to put make up on and after that she interviewed the footballer Andres Iniesta asking if he would have liked to pull a penalty. He answered that he actually had pulled it and he had scored too. The image that passed in that occasion was that of the girlfriend’s spanish team captain, more than a competent journalist. The entire country thought that she stayed there because she was the girlfriend of Casillas and this episode has not made good for a complicated world like sports journalism. If one of those that have the possibility to demonstrate to be good as women in this context and to demonstrate to understand about football like a man, during a so important event makes this mistake, in the end it results normal that men do not respect women’s work in this specific sector».
Irma D’Alessandro, from Mediaset, made a perfect summary of the concept of capital. Indeed she adfirms: «I earn my living with the little talent I have».
This short sentence explains very well how the concept of capital has to be interpreted. Capital, according also to Bourdieu’s theories, is what a person possesses and tries to transform into work and into material. D’Alessandro continues with «I’m always been enthusiastic with every kind of sport. As passionate and also as practicing, I have realized soon that sport, football in particular, would have bring me to live incredible events, incredible circumstances, incredible emotions and to see places and know people that I never could have seen or known otherwise».
This can be considered as another way to consider capital, that include salso everything that is a direct consequence. The Mediaset’s journalist adfirms that without this her own capacity, she never would have lived some experiences. Therefore this form of capital can be seen as “cultural capital” that is on opposition to the economic cultural, both objects of Bourdieu’s theories.
For Bourdieu it is crucial the explanation that lies in complex class relations involving both cultural production and reception, insisting on the fact that the ‘real’ is ‘relational’. This link create the so-called “economic capital”, because to exist socially has to mark one’s difference.
«In the past it was easier considering the sports sector, male dominated. That is why who bought the journal La Gazzetta dello Sport was a man, mainly. Who read it was a man. It resulted fundamental to give importance to the public, at least in the past. Now we can say that times are changed, so there is much more interest in the sports activities than before, therefore the public played an essential role». These are words by Elia Pagnoni, from Il Giornale. Thanks to these it can be easily understood the conceptions of Bourdieu’s about the opposition between two forms of power: economic and cultural capital.
By economic capital, he means simply money or assets that can be turned into money. On the other hand cultural capital encompasses such things as educational credentials, technical expertise, general knowledge, verbal abilities and artistic sensibilities. Economic capital, on the whole, is more powerful, but cultural capital is always needed to transform good fortune into “legitimate” fortune.
The specific form of economic and cultural capital varies within each field. Inside the journalistic field, economic capital is expressed via circulation, or advertising revenues, or audience ratings, whereas the “specific” cultural capital of the field is evident in those forms of journalsitic excellence, recognised by the professional and academic forums. The journalistic field (like all other fields) is structured around the opposition between the so-called “heteronomous” pole representing forces external to the field (primarily economic) and the “autonomous” pole representing the specific capital unique to that field.
3.2.2 They are all journalists
Continuing to speak about capital, it is easy to think, nowadays, that everyone can do this acticity, above all thanks to all the new technologies and online references that permit everybody to write, to produce and to experiment their own capacities.
It is here that capital results fundamental to stand out and to emerge, as it can be understood from Antia Andre’s words. «Well, I do not think that everyone can be a journalist, really. It is true that now there are many people that create and write on their own blog because it is important be different, be propositive, create the new and try to affirm themselves in this way. For example, there is a famous food blogger in Spain that loves football and for this he writes about football because he likes it and, thanks to internet, he can easily do it. But I think that journalism is a profession more than a only pure passion that anyway is important for a good success in the work. The studies constitute the base even if there is so many people that think that everyone can be a journalist, just because they possess means and instruments. In my opionion it is important to have a base, you have to possess a journalistic conscience, you have to like to contrast and to get to the end of the news. It is not merely a question of write about a match, about a team because you are passionate or fan». The spanish journalist expresses in a simple way how a journalist can show her own capital and what kind of capital is necessary to make this profession that, as it results, it is not for all.
It is opposite the idea of Rosanna Marani. «New technologies? It is amazing. If I was born today and I wanted to be a journalist, I would not go to any publisher. Video camera, blog, interview’s outline. If someone wants my interview, he/she pays and he/she obtains it; I would have only an agent that can sell my articles. I like so much this new system that is developing now because everyone can try do be a journalist and test itself. If you have talent, you will come out, in this social media’s time. Indeed I think that press is going to die». It can be observed that the idea of the first sports italian journalist is completely different from that of one that she is now living this context.
3.3. Why sports journalism?
Another observation that can be made analyzing the different interviews, is an explanation about the arrival to sports journalism. According to Bourdieu’s theories of the first chapter it results important, in the journalistic context, to deepen on field’s theory to examine how structures of power shape these journalists’ lives. A field as defined as a system of competing social relations, where individuals and institutions compete for the same stake. The actors use different strategies to acquire positions and influence. What is at stake is success, prestige, status and, ultimately, the power to decide who shall be recognized as a member of the profession and what constitutes good and valuable journalism. The sports journalism, object of this research, can be hence considered a field in which different journalists work and compete for the same stake. Here it is important to focus on why women put in contact with the sports field, because fields are considered, according to Bourdieu’s definitions, arenas of struggle in which individuals and organizations compete, unconsciously and consciously, to valorize the forms of capital which they possess.
«I didn’t start to write about sport, but to write in general; I dealt with news section and city matters». This explanation by Alessandra Camilletti is useful to understand how a journalist can enter in a specific sector, probably by chance, as in this case. «Moreover I never wrote about sport before. I had written something, but I was not in the sports group of the journal. Mostly I can say that I am a sportswoman, because I was a basketball player before I stopped because I wanted to study. After that I did athletics, high jump and speed, what I deal with now. At Il Messaggero I follow various sport, everything that is not fottball, that is basketball, volleybal, athletics and all the rest».
This is only one of the approaches to this specific field, but it is noted that many result to be similar.
For example, another journalist who declares to be in this context by chance is Nathalie Goitom, from Telelombardia, who explains in which way arrived to work as professional journalist. «I started to be a model and an actress. I worked in the show business and I arrived here as Tv assistant. Journalistic world has arrived later, because I gradually started to be more confident with video cameras and with this working environment. So I was noT born as journalist, even because I studied other, I had fashion’s studies. I wanted to become a stylist, after that there was this experience connected to the work of model and actress and after that, gradually, continuing to stay in a newsroom, in contact with colleagues and in the middle of a newsroom, I liked it, I started to propose myself and they gave me the possibility to do the traineeship, at the beggining in the news and after in the sports sector too. Since 2013, since I am a professional journalist, I am definitively in the sports sector. Therefore, initially, it is a profession that was born by chance, yes when I was 20 years old it was by chance».
On the other hand it has to be said that the mayority of the interviewed journalists adfirms that they always knew that they would have been involved in the sports field. Elena Rosi from Telelombardia, for example, despite having studied law, has always been aware of working with sport.
«I always liked journalism and sport in general. I have been following football for years and now I continue to follow football because I am a Roma’s big fan. I studied law, but in the meantime I always go forward with the passion for journalism and for sport. I worked in a sports program in Rome on Sundays. I kept studying and then I went to newsroom on Sundays, but simply for helping a little with newsroom’s work, for editing or preparing news pills, conferences, doing the Tv schedule and these things. Then the day I graduated I have said to myself that I din’t want to do that. I was sure».
This witness to focus on the fact that the choice of the field results important for the good success of the work. Indeed, according to Bourdieu’s observations, fields possess some autonomy from external pressures. Once formed, fields or institutions tend to be governed by largely implicit “rules” or “principles” of action, producing a certain degree of internal homogeneity. Field is a microcosm set within the macrocosm. Therefore the importance of understanding issues and factors that bring a woman to the sports field, can explain how, in which way and according to which factors, a sector has developed in time.
It is the same the situation for another Telelombardia’s journalist, Stefania Scordio. She explains that she has been working there for six months, but first, when she was living in Sicily she already was working for a sports newsroom. The interview to her remembers the issue about the characteristic of the field seen as an arena of struggle in which individuals and organizations compete, unconsciously and consciously, to valorize those forms of capital which they possess. The words of Stefania Scordio explain how this struggle is seen within the journalistic context, with a focus on the difference between women and men position, even if she does not see a big discrepancy.
«In my opinion women can enter to every work sector, as well as men. By now there is no more a clear distinction between the male role and the female one. After all I think that the actual moment in which we live, encourages us to cross our horizons. It is for this that I think that nowadays we can not consider for a woman reach particular positions and particular objectives».
3.4. The concept of habitus
Bourdieu’s theories of field and habitus are useful at this point to examine how structures of power shape journalists’ lives. The interviews are indeed analysed in both the newsroom and the sports field within a context of a sports information system that is predominantly produced by men and for men. Bourdieu’s models are seen as a heuristic device to reveal forms of domination and resistance in the organization of work, the nature of working experience and the structure of power. Therefore the objective is to gain better understanding of gender relations at work in this specific subfield of sports journalism and to observe how these workbased relations maintain or challenge the established gender norms and roles within sports journalism.
The concept of habitus can be defined as a creation through a social, and individual, process leading to patterns that are enduring and transferable from one context to another, but that also shift in relation to specific contexts and over time. Indeed habitus can not be ssen as fixed or permanent, but it can be changed under unexpected situations or over a long historical period. Habitus can be considered both as shaped by past events and as shaped as current practices. In the sports journalistic context analysed, habitus can be considered as every aspect that shapes and defines the work of the journalist. For this reason, speaking aboit habitus, is important a clear distinction between the various interviewed journalists according to the different channel in which they work and for which they are specialized.
«More than anything else, I do not like to write so much. I always chose television and I always was projected for television and video cameras. The interest in sports journalism has always remained, but not to write. I am a very dynamic person, who speaks, who moves around and you always see me at full speed. That is why also I have not chosen the legal career for which I studied, I do not see myself sitting at a desk, to write and similar. But if I have to do this, for sure, I do it» Elena Rosi explains.
From her words it is easy to understand that the habitus that she want for her and that she understood to be is the habitus of a television’s journalist. The habitus is so shaped by herself basing on her own capacities and abilities.
On the other hand, Alessandra Camilletti expressed and admits her real passion for the press, in contrast with the television. «I always did press and not tv journalism or other. That is why I really always liked paper journal then press. It was and it is a choice of mine».
Another characteristic of the proper habitus of the different interviewed journalists that results to be the same for everyone is the issue that almost all has declared the positive and optimistic side of their own personality. Indeed for most of them being active and energetic people is fundamental for the realization of the objective. The character is considered within habitus because belongs to everyone in a different approach and it can be improved and it constantly develops also thanks to work’s experience and time, but there is an underlying base that is inside every person. As testimony of this concept they can be used the words of Alessandra Camilletti who explains how, since she was at the beginning then since she was a girl, some qualities and some values like, for example, the sense of duty, have helped her to try and to not retreate in front of something completely new. «I had a friend that could be a journalist and one day we decided to go to a local journal’s newsroom to see and to understand how a newsroom actually worked. The aim was to spend two hours in this newsroom to see how the journal lived, how this is made, how this operated, a sort of guided visit. We would have gone in the afternoon, after the school, but my friend, the same morning, told me that she would have not come anymore. Instead I was grown with a big sense of duty and respect, it was a commitment that we had agreed, so I went». This is habitus, this shows how the habitus “works” when there is the occasion to do it and helps to make a choice during a critical situation.
It is the same for Antia Andre that adfirms to be become a journalist also thanks her own positive personality. «Well, in my case I do not felt discriminated. This is probably because I never take things badly, everything always seems me good and I always think that everything is fantastic». It is a habitus’ trait because it is a characteristic that belongs to the person, despite the journalistic job.
«I am a person that tries without fear, I never have been frightened, also for the video cameras, I never have had worry. I said to myself ‘Let’s try, I like to do this and it is a thing that I ever have wanted to do’, although the fact I was against everything and everyone». This can be considered another feature of the so-called habitus defined by Bourdieu as “a structuring structure, which organizes practices and the perception of practices”.
3.4.1 “A woman understands nothing about football”
«’Why does a woman have to write about football? A woman understands nothing about football.’ These are the main commonplaces that circulate in the sports journalistic context and these have to be improved». This issue can be considered as another aspect of the woman’s habitus as owner of a secondary role. «Chauvinism can be overtaken; even now there is so much difference between press journalism and television’s journalism. In television, for example, we can note that the image is put before everything, it has a central role. Indeed Tv women journalists are constantly growing. Even if it depends from the different cases because, if we think about, it is very difficult to find a journalist, for example, that is responsible for a match report, while it is easier to find a woman as reporter of the different pieces or as correspondent or also as presenter». These are the words of a man, Elia Pagnoni from Il Giornale, who, as sports newsroom’s director, results to be very familiar with this environment. The habitus, in this case, is seen as a consequence of the woman’s role because it is here that comes out the concept of the image and the differences between working for television and working for a journal.
The spanish experience of Aimara Gil seems not to distance very much from the italian situation. «There are many women that can do this work in a very good way and they are very valorous. But I admit also that most of the women that arrive to work in television, national television or also for international events, are there above all thanks to their body and their appearance. The bad thing, if not the worst, is that in the conclusion these women are ‘mujeres-florero’ (a woman which can trust only on her beauty) and they are there working in television for their body and their appearance. This is reflected among all the women that are in this profession». Here the habitus is seen as a transformation from the indeed habitus to the commonplace widespread in a male dominated work environment.
The Quario’s opinion is almost the same regarding the correspondence between image and work possibility. «Regarding sports journalism, I see more and more women journalists, above all in television, where surely the image can do so much. We can say that the commonplace of the woman that does not understand anything about sport remains unfortunately, but if you are a beautiful, rather very beautiful, woman, you can earn your place and your role anyway. This is the greater commonplace to exceed, there are many competent and good women journalists that are able to speak about sport».
It can be noted also a sort of awareness of this role in the interview with Elena Rosi. «I can not say that I see a real treatment’s difference. All depends on you and how you can pose yourself. It is different from journalist to journalist, indeed the press journalist is different from the Tv one, who has to be broadcasted, therefore she needs a defined appearance and it can occurr day in which you are not good or completely ready. But in general I do not see so many problems».
Also in the words of Nathalie Goitom, from Telelombardia, it can be noted how the female habitus in journalistic context is exposed to the commonplaces between being woman and being woman passionate for sport. «As sterotype, there always will be some difficulty. But it is our assignment and our duty to show that it is not in this way anymore. Also women are competent, also women can speak about football. I mean, we are always speaking about a game, not about who knows. It is then normal that there is who knows more and who knows less and who is more expert and who is less because there is a different knowledge and a different competence. You narrate football, you speak about what you see, as if you are watching anything else and it is natural because you feel natural. If it simple and if it is naturale for you, everything will be better». The aspect that comes out here is the sense of duty that is necessary to strive to be noted. It can belong to the definition of habitus, being part of it because it refers to the physical embodiment of cultural capital and to the deeply ingrained habits, skills and dispositions that everyone possess due to their life’s experiences.
3.5. Power to women
The concept of power is another issue that is central to Bourdieu’s theories, as explained in the first chapter of this work. Power is seen as the tacit, almost unconscious, mode of cultural and social domination occurring within a certain context, in this case in the sports journalistic one. It is the power that causes the gender dominance, that is the object of this work. As seen in the previous chapter it is a data that women that occupy a high position are surely less than men.
In this paragraph the will is to show how the interviewed journalists see the power and deal with the assignments’ division to understand how there is a so evident lack of women in power’s role. The first observation that can be made is that the motivation can be purely an age’s motivation. Indeed the possibility is that a generation’s change is needed.
«Being employed today is not so easy. Here, there are more men, it is true. But all are old, not in the sense of that they are old by birth, but they have been working here for much time. There are no guys with my same age that work here and that are arrived now. Simply it is that once it was a male dominated field. Journalists that are now here are journalists that there were before. I think so that i twill be a thing that will come or will change in time anyway». This can be a possible explanation of the problem, it was expressed by Elena Rosi, who is the younger journalist of the interviewed ones, being only 26 years old.
It is a question of generation also for Elia Pagnoni that, according to his long experience in this context, explains how the journalistic world is now going through a crisis. «If we think about, historically sport was a male domain. This is also can be considered to explain the current lack of women, above all in the higher positions. For this domain that has characterized the context for many years, it is now difficult that a journal wants to employ or to collaborate with a woman. But this is due to the journalism’s crisis and in general now it is difficult that a journal hires».
It can be noted from these two different testimonials, one from a young woman who has just entered this world and the other one from a man that has been working as journalist for a lot of years, that both speak about the crisis of journalism and both speak about a difficulty to see women in the sports sector because of a generational change that has not arrived yet. Therefore they think in the same way, although the different age, admitting as main cause for the lack of women the journalistic crisis. In addition they both speak, and admit, the male domain in the sports journalistic context that has characterized many of the past years, but they both see an improvement for women that is already present and that will be surely present in the future years, although the journalism’s crisis.
Power can be interpreted also as the way in which the sports section in the journal is organized and directed by the assignment editor (in the cases of the interviewed journalists editors are all men).
«We can say that here the programs develop according to the day’s themes. Then there is a meeting, during which priorities are established. So the editor decide as to assignt the different themes to develop. He listens us very much, therefore the choice becomes then an unanimous choice. We make a collective reunion where we meet up and we decide together, moreover we can do it on air».
«Yes, regarding the assignment’s division is the director who decides. He gives to everybody the possibility to show off our abilities and to show the person’s value and the journalist’s value. There are no rivalries and this is also the good because here we are a group and this is important, above all in a newsroom, because there is no the individual that want to reach the result; here we are a group, somthing like a team, to remain in sports environment, we go all in the same direction and towards a single goal, that is making a good work and good results in terms of audicence».
These are the opinions by the two journalists of the same Tv company, that is Telelombardia. The first, Stefania Scordio, recognises the director’s authority, but admits that the theme’s choice is not an only director’s choice. He is able to give the possibility to everyone to try and to make the best work. Power, in this case, is seen as something that has not the authority to separate, but to work together.
3.5.1 Power or secondary role?
But observing and analysing the words by Elena Rosi, always from Telelombardia, it can be seen how the journalist as if accepts her role, that is seen as secondary. Is it a question of power?
«My work at Telelombardia can be different. So I am on live recording during the day on TopCalcio24 or in the night on Telelombardia or Antenna 3, it depends. During the evening we, as women, are co-hosting next to the director or net to our colleague. We can help with Tweets, emails, or similar; in the last part of the evening, from 11 or 12 to 1, we present alone».
In this interview there is an admission of a secondary role because this journalist, without any comment or any sort of polemic, explains her role, that can be considered a secondary role, excludin the part in which she says that in the night she can conducts alone.
Not in all interviews the sensation is the same. Indeed in Camilletti’s interview, the journalist who works for Il Messaggero so in the press world, it can be noted that her role is not accepted as secondary.
«Regarding the work’s division, there is a division that is quite natural. Indeed there are journalists that always follow football, obviously here there is Roma and Lazio so much. Therefore there are journalists which have been following the same teams for much time, so the division results so natural. In addition we, as sports newsroom, also follow the internet site vertically, that is the sports section: we directly manage it». In this words, speaking with a press journalist, there is no an acceptance of a secondary role, but everyone can organise the work always according to the director’s choices.
It is the same regarding the spanish work organisation, as Aimara Gil and Antia Andre showed in their interviews.
The first one explained that the work’s division can be defined “natural”, the term used by Camilletti in the previous explanation. «Everyone has the assigned part. At As, that is a sports daily journal, everyone has a team and we together propose a theme everyday. Then the editor evaluates it and decides the space to dedicate to every topic. In addition in the web you have to upload something every day because the space, online, is not limited. In this case the work is organised by my unique colleague and me and for this we are us that decide how much space and how much importance give to every theme».
It is quite the same for the other spanish journalist. «Every day my editor proposes themes and assigns every of it to everyone of us. Speaking about sport is easier because in general everyone has already the team assigned or the specific sport that has to follow. In my case, for example, I follow the team of Leganes, which is a new promoted one, so I follow everything regarding it. Otherwise I also follow more institutional things like when there are Fifa’s or Uefa’s events. It can occur also that there is a special event o something similar, like for example the presentation of the new handball’s coach and I go. There is an organization about who goes where. It is normal that the theme is decided or well is approved by the editor because it is quite difficult to decide in sports sector. That is if tomorrow there are Champion’s quarter finals it is evident that the themes are about those. So it is normal that the editor divides all the themes, but he never dictates or forces nothing. It occurs also that we propose themes to him asking ‘I want to speak about this’, ‘What do you think about this theme?’».
Here there is a clear power definition, according to which the journalist woman can not admit a secondary role or a less important role, as seemed in the Rosi’s interview. It can be said that there is a clear distinction between the two different worlds that are that of television and that of press. In Tv environment, as showed also before in the previous paragraphs, it is the woman’s image that comes out and results important, if not fundamental. On the other hand in the press context it can be adfirmed, relying on the interviews showed, that there is no a so defined power’s distinction.
3.6. Hegemony in the sports newsrooms
Speaking and visiting the different sports newsrooms it is a clear data that the number of women participating there, is surely small.
In the two newsroom visited personally and directly, Telelombardia and Il Giornale, the number of women employed is four for the first one and zero for the second one (the one interviewed for Il Giornale describes herself as a collaborator, but she has never been employed there). For Il Messaggero the woman in the sports newsroom is only one, the one interviewed, over ten people working there. In the end, regarding the two spanish realities, in the sports newsroom of the Radio Nacional the women are only two over twenty-five journalists, while in the other the women’s number is not specified because there are many external collaborations.
3.6.1 Hegemonic difficulties
Only one of the interviewed journalists has highlighted the issue of being a journalist for a woman. «For a woman I think that the journalism’s job is very difficult, but for the newsroom’s times and organization; I chose to put ahead always my family choosing to be a mom, rather than submit to the newsroom’s hard schedules. I think that finally it is this the bigger difficulty».
This issue can be a part of the so called hegemony of the male presence, because it can be considered one of the causes of the little presence of women.
Another type of difficulty presented by Elena Rosi is linked to the arrival to this specific job and it seems not be connected for her to a gender difficulty. «At the beginning it was not so easy, that is why I came back to home that I was so tired, I also cried a lot; every kind of job is not easy at the start. I entered here that I was the younger, I came from another city and there was already an assembled group. But I assure you that when they see you working seriously and hardly and the can note it, it is then your duty to gain the confidence and the respect. If this is your dream, you have to follow it».
The difficulties emerged by the others interviewed journalists are almost all explained and presented as reasons of gender differentiation, as clearly it can be understood by the words of Aimara Gil.
«Yes, it has been difficult to arrive in this world, above all if you are interested in football. There are others sports for which a less competence is required and that they are not seen as masculine sports, like for example artistic or rhythmic gymnastic, synchronized swimming. Instead within the football that is the sport I dedicate, it is dificult that I am taken seriously, you have to demonstrate firstly, while a men is supposed to know already. As woman I think I am a privileged to have been able to reach a big public in my work and to be respected for my opinions, although this is not the normal. In this world a woman has to work more and harder and it is sure that she will have less chance than a man».
On the other hand there were not difficulties for Stefania Scordio who adfirms: «No, I have not found many difficulties. According to my opinion I think that the roles between men and women, in every sector, are quite interchangeable».
These two visions are opposite, but both can make clear the different positions that a woman can assume about this issue.
At the beginning of this work the big question was “As woman, can I really hope to be a sports journalist?”. This can seem a curious question because nowadays it is strange to think that there could be problems or difficulties based only of gender’s motivation, but actually the commonplaces in this particular sector, like for example “A woman understands nothing about football”, are still very widespread, unfortunately.
So, encouraged from my journalistic passion and from my sport’s dedication, I chose to personally investigate the italian situation for the sports women journalists. To do this in a more sociological way, I decided to introduce the theme explaining and presenting theories that can be considered as basis of the different issues that can be met in a journalistic context. For this reason I chose to present, in the first chapter, Bourdieu’s arguments to have a more general idea about the sociological vision of the journalistic environment.
Five are the main theories that are been explained for this reason: field, capital, power, habitus and hegemony. Field is considered as a space of positions and position-takings that constitute a set of objective relations. These objective relations are different according to the different type of capital that everyone has and can implement. So capital is considered as accumulated labor (in its materialized form or its incorporated, embodied form) which, appropriated on a private and exclusive basis by agents or groups of agents, in this cases agents are the journalists, enables them to appropriate social energy in the form of living labor. From capital then it developes the question about the relations of power. This is seen as the position of every person within his work environment. In addition power can be considered as the force that guide and decide the real position that every journalist can assume. This includes another issue that results central in Bourdieu’s theories, that of habitus. Habitus is seen as a system of embodied dispositions and tendencies that organize the ways in which individuals perceive the social world around them and react to it. So it is according to habitus’ definition that hegemonic difficulties can come out.
These are then the real object of the work, that is how in a male dominated context, a woman can emerge anyway. The possible solutions or strategies that a woman has to distinguish herself are three: competition, specialization and expansion. They are analysed in the first chapter.
In the second chapter real data about the presence of women in the different journalistic contexts are presented. Indeed, through tables and distinct datas, different investigative results are showed to introduce and to explain the theme in a more empirical way, exceeding the just sociological introductive part. The most significant result is that the number of women journalists employed is surely increasing, but the absence of these in the higher positions has to be considered a problem to understand and to deal with. The motivation can be explained from the point of view of an age’s question. Indeed, since the fact that the increase of the women in the sport journalism is a recent introduction, it is possible that journalists that occupy the higher positions in the work environment, are the old ones. It means that they are the journalists that are there for much time. Another interpretation that can be made is that a more equal representation of the female universe in the media can be the key to try to change and reach a real improvement. Indeed it is important to consider also how a woman is presented and concerned in the different news. This is one of the objective of the Global Media Monitoring Project, which is an international project of monitoring about the presence of women in the different media of the different countries. This has been presented and described in the second chapter and, thanks to this, it has been possible to investigate the real numbers of women present in the media (this is the other purpose of the Global Media Monitoring Project). Indeed, during a sample day, some volunters have supervised the ways in which the news were presented. So the data are not only numbers about the presence of women as journalists, but also, according to the different news’ sectors, which positions the women could perform (announcers, reporters, correspondents). Considering the sports sector, object of this work, as it is showed in the second chapter, the results are surely followed the expectation according to which the percentage of women employed is almost always the lowest.
The following chapter, the third one, can be absolutely considered the central part of the entire work. Indeed, in this section, I presented my personal interviews to the different sports women journalists that made themselves availables for my research. I chose to interview ten people: nine of them are women and one is a man and he is the sports chief editor of Il Giornale. In this manner I have had the possibility to speak directly with him and, thanks to his long experience within the sports section, I could have more clear ideas about the different issues I wanted to analyse. The other interviewed journalists are instead women that have had different experiences and that belong to different types of media. One is the first italian sports woman journalists, four are television’s journalists, one is a journal’s collaborator only and ex skier, one is a press journalist of a daily newspaper and finally two are spanish journalists. I wanted to interview them to have a point of view from another country that always results similar to Italy, but that actually can show different ways and different starting points over which reflect about the same theme.
The different interviews are not been presented entirely, but I chose to present and report pieces of them following the different Bourdieu’s issues analysed in the first chapter. The results that has come out from all the interviews are very interesting and particular because the different points of view can show issues that can reinforce or, on the contrary, overthrowed the most popular commonplaces.
I wanted to start the entire discourse presenting in a brief way the first italian sports journalist, Rosanna Marani. Speaking with her, for example, I could imagine the world in which she lived and the difficulties she had to face. It was very interesting understand how a woman of her time (70’s) had to fight to reach what she really liked. On the other hand if I take in consideration the most young woman interviewed, Elena Rosi from Telelombardia, it is easily understood that she is not worried from anything, she is sure about her capacities and her attitude and ready to reach her personal objectives. But when she speaks with these words “Objectively men are much more prepared than women” I could perceive as a feeling of resignation that comes out, that is the contrary of Marani’s perceptions.
Another aspect that can be considered object of analysis is the opposite vision between Marani and one of the most successfull television journalists, that is Irma D’Alessandro from Mediaset. Indeed while the first has illustrated all the difficulties met to adfirm herself as journalist, the second one, well-known professional within the sports sector for thirty years, do not intend to commit herself adfirming “It is a process that started a long time ago, in the 90’s. I do not like to make a discourse about female quota”. This can be considered a sort of change of view, from the fact that, it can be noticed how Marani insists to narrate every problem or difficulties, while D’Alessandro approximately seems speak about a problem that does not exist anymore and has not to be faced.
So in this chapter all the Bourdieu’s issues are presented and I can say that the ideas and the questions that are presented in the introductive parts, to which I wanted to give an answer, are surely now more clear. Indeed the different points of view of all the interviewed journalists can make me think about different issues and they can also open different concepts.
At the conclusion of this investigative work the question that I can make to myself is: does sports journalism continue or is going to disappear because of the incessant emerging of different and diverse types of media that soon could substitute the most traditional ways to make news?
Therefore, to answer to this question, I finally want to put this part taken from the Alessandra Camilletti’s interview to contradict the common thought that the majority of people thinks and would answer to a probable question about the future of journalism. It can be said that these words can introduce another way to consider the journalism as a whole.
«I think that sports journalism is absolutely not destined to die, on the contrary from my perception and I see it as a person that before has dealt with other things and for this it is probable that I have a different sensibility, I think that the interest for sport and for that which the sports journalism can transmit is changing and it is growing up actually. That is firstly why canals have increased. We, for example, it is true that speak through paper, but it is also true that we transmit through the web site and the social network’s circuit. Therefore I think that the interest is constantly growing up. In addition I think that also the simple curiosity or maybe the levity compared to only listening to the Tv news or similar. Nowadays all the sports celebrities are also show celebrities because anyway they draw the public attention, so they are considered real personalities. I have in mind now, for example, Flavia Pennetta and Fabio Fognini, so to speak. They are become celebrities beyond the sport and it is this that creates the interest. It is a different question of point of view, there is attention from people to the private life of the celebrities. If you think about politics, the situation is different. For example, in my opinion, I am not interested in which a parliamentarian does when he goess out or where has dinner, I do not care at all. On the contrary, there is a different interest in knowing where Federica Pellegrini goes to have dinner, that is. So, according to my personal opinion, I think that sports journalism is actually growing. That is thanks to this other point of view that now is a big success. I see it also when we put the news online and we can see the people’s comparison, the contacts. There is so much curiosity, so that sport, as sport, raises interest, but it has to be considered also this curious consequence which is really emerging. I think I see it with a very curious eye, probably because I am here since a few months and it is likely that I notice it more than those who are in this sector for many years».
For me it has been important to listen to this words to think to the journalism in another and different way. This means that everybody can see this context as a developing context that, contrary to what everyone can think, is not going to die because of the interest that can create and raise.
This gives me the possibility to think in a different way also the consideration of the woman in the sports journalistic context: something is really changing.
In this final part, it is showed the research form that I used to make the different interviews.
Special Issue: The role of woman in sports journalistic context
Insertion of women journalists
Presentation and reason of the interview
1. Personal experience
Could you briefly tell me your journalistic experience from the earliest stages to the project(s) in which you are involved today?
Could you please tell me which circumstances gave birth to the idea of engaging in journalistic activities? Why are you involved in such practices? (try to understand what kind of motivations stand behind decisions on engaging in sport journalism)
– Personal career/experience with journalism, sport journalism motivations
Could you briefly describe media organization you collaborate for (is it platform belonging to mainstream media or any form of independent platform – individual or collaborative)
Could you please tell me when and how did you decide to join or build (sport) journalism organization you are involved in? (try to understand what kind of factors stand behind decisions on engaging in given forms of sport journalism)
– Different types of (sport) journalism organizations, factors influencing women journalists decisions on joining given type of organization (or building own platform)
3. Educational background
Could you please tell me what is your education? Do you have any journalistic or related educational record? (checking educational background)
– Education, the ways a journalist acquires and develops (or not) skills necessary to impose in the workplace
4. Methods of sport journalistic work
Could you briefly describe the way you act as a journalist? How do you choose topics to cover and do you work on given topics according to your colleagues? (investigating to what extent sport journalists implement professional procedures and standards into their journalistic practice)
Could you please describe/detail one of your most recent collaboration into the (sport) journalistic field? What have you done? (with further questions here is important to investigate different forms of collaborations and the way in which journalists can choose the news they are more involved to)
Why have you decided to focus on sport journalism? Do you prefer to work on your own with a blog or collaborate with traditional news media? Is there a big difference? (checking level of specialization and the possible difficulty as woman to enter in traditional news media)
There are many sport media organizations now. What is the difference in terms of real work? In your idea what do you think is the future of (sport) journalism with the continuous grew of the Internet?
– Level of professionalization, area of sport journalistic activity and its links with educational background, ability to engage in collaborative forms of journalism with the likely gender differentiation
What do you think of the continuous insertion of women in (sport) media?
Does the platform you write for have a code of ethics or code of conduct according to the woman insertion?
What do you think about the representation of woman in sport media? Is this concept correlated to the insertion of woman journalists?
What about your idea of the insertion of women in the journalistic workplace?
According to your personal career, have you found any difficulties to enter in the sport sector or in the sector you like?
Do you think that this situation is the same in Italy and in the other countries of Europe? Do you know or do you have any experiences of other countries?
– Understand the woman insertion, how a woman can enter in the journalistic workplace
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Bourdieu adds to new institutionalism, and vice versa”, year 2006
- BENSON Rodney, “What makes news more multiperspectival? A field analysis”, year 2009.
- BOURDIEU Pierre, “The field of cultural production”, year 1993
- CLARINGBOULD Inge, KNOPPERS Annelies, ELLING Agnes,
“Exclusionary Practices in Sport Journalism”, year 2004
- COVARRUBIAS Ruth, “El ejercicio profesional de la mujer dentro del periodismo deportivo, desde la visiòn de jefes, productores, periodistas, comentaristas y aficionados de Guadalajara, Jalisco” in
Razòn y Palabra, year 2009
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Review, Jubilee Issue 2007, pp. 81-104
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2001): 63-65. Year 2001
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Sociology of Sport Journal, 2011, 28, 189-208
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Underrepresentation of Women in Printed News”, October 2015
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Views of Gender”, year 2006
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 Djerfe-Pierre M., “The Gender of Journalism, The Structure and Logic of the Field in the Twentieth Century” in Nordicom Review, Jubilee Issue year 2007, p. 82
 Benson R. and Neveu E., “Bourdieu and the journalistic field”, p. 3
 Bourdieu P., “The field of cultural production”, p. 30
 Benson R. and Neveu E., “Bourdieu and the journalistic field”, p. 3
 Benson R. and Neveu E., “Bourdieu and the journalistic field”, pp. 3-5
 Benson R. and Neveu E., “Bourdieu and the journalistic field”, pp. 9-10
 Benson R. and Neveu E., “Bourdieu and the journalistic field”, p. 17
 English P., “Mapping the sports journalism field: Bourdieu and broadsheet newsrooms”; University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, year 2015, p. 2
 English P., “Mapping the sports journalism field: Bourdieu and broadsheet newsrooms”, pp. 2-3
 English P., “Mapping the sports newsrooms”, p.5
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, year 2015
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 466
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 468
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 468
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 470
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 471-472
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 469
 Azzalini M., “Donne nel giornalismo italiano”, p. 475
 Who makes the news, “Global Media Monitoring Project – National Report”, p. 4
 p. 10
 Fonte: http://27esimaora.corriere.it, visited on October 13, 2016
 Fonte: http://giulia.globalist.it, visited on October 13, 2016
 http://www.magzine.it/i–numeri–impietosi–delle–giornaliste–donne–in–italia/, visited on October 19, 2016
 See p.