Media Influences on Sport
Without an audience there can be no mass media. It is an individual’s choice as to which kind of media satisfies their own needs, whether it is in the form of TV, magazines, movies, or the internet.
Today the mass media has an audience of tens of millions who are all in touch with current events including sports. What are the media influences on sport?
The mass media undoubtedly influences sport. It has an influence on all sports generally. and can affect individual sports participants also. There are both positive and negative aspects of media influence.
- The media makes the sport available to a much wider audience than just the people attending the event. Basketball, football, baseball, cricket are all shown, either live or recorded on the TV sports channels. Reports are written up in newspapers, and information and results are readily available on the internet.
- Such media attention attracts finances which are frequently used to create sports teaching and training facilities for the young. Scholarships are available for potential athletes and sports persons from all backgrounds.
- It is easy for the media to focus upon one star player associated with any sport. This can, and often does, interfere with the player’s private life. The media tend to elevate such sports personalities to ‘godlike’ status and the individual sports person is continually watched and followed by the media. If he or she commits the slightest misdemeanor it rapidly world wide news.
It is because of this elevated status given to professional sports people that they are often deemed to be above the law by the media. There have been cases when certain professional sports people have seemingly been given privileged treatment not commonly available to the general public due to media influence and pressure.