With the new academic year underway for Sport Marketing and Sport Business Management programmes, my plan is to share a little bit about how I have planned the modules I am leading during this first term. In this post I will focus on the module I am leading for the past three years – Sport Broadcasting – that to some extent made me realise that my research interests have always been around how media and technology shape our daily lives as sport fans.
Taking the notion that media is central to our lives – or as Niklas Luhmann claims that we know and learn about the world through mass media – as the golden thread that runs across the 8 weeks program, the idea of the module is to discuss how the symbiotic relationship between sport and media has developed over the last hundred years so to understand how it is in its current state, and then to prospect how it can be in the future. In a way, we can only think forward if we look backwards.
As such, the first block of the Sport Broadcasting module is interested in historicising and contextualising this symbiotic relationship between sport and media. It does so first by giving an overall panorama of the sport broadcasting industry in the first week of teaching, where all the 7 remaining topics are discussed briefly. In the second week of teaching the focus is on discussing how this symbiotic relationship between sport and media developed more prominently in one particular context: the Victorian and Edwardian eras. In a way, sport and media as we know today are by-products of British modernity which might help us in understanding how and why some aspects – like its nationalistic rhetoric, or being male dominated – are still strongly present until today. In our third week the focus shifts to three different media channels that are historically associated with sport – print media and especially newspaper; radio; and television – and how sport is used as a content on those different channels. On the following week our attention shifts to new media platforms – as with social media and digital media in particular – to discuss how those emerging platforms have the potential to disrupt the once ingrained symbiotic relationships between sport and media. Finally, the last week on our first block discuss how both traditional and new media relates to local and global identities.
The second block of the Sport Broadcasting module concentrates on discussing how media – traditional and new – represent athletes and others involved in sport based on certain characteristics. In the first week of the second block the focus will be on discussing how media frames race and ethnicity, and in particular how it represents black athletes differently from athletes of other races. In the following week our attention shifts to gender issues, and in particular how women are represented by sports media (see my blog post about gendered sports media here and here). And in our last week of teaching during this first term our focus will be on how athletes with disabilities, and especially Paralympics – are represented by the media.
And how assessments will work in the module? For the first block students will have to produce a video podcast that lasts 6min where they will have to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how the symbiotic relationship between sport and media has existed and changed over time by illustrating it with their own chosen examples. This first assessment will work both as a formative – where it will give students a better foundation for the essay – and a summative – it will count 15% of the overall module mark. The second assessment is an essay – 3,400 words in total – where students have two tasks in hand: a main essay with 2,800 words where they have to apply Stuart Hall’s theory of representation by comparing and illustrating how different media represent individuals (athletes, coaches, fans, etc) based on gender, race/ethnicity, or/and disability (intersectionality); and a 600 words reflection on their engagement in the different weekly asynchronous activities using Gibb’s reflective cycle.
Hope you are all excited with how the module is structured. I will keep posting weekly a short summary of our topic and associated theories. If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.