Running Head: SPORTS ETHICS
March 21, 2019
Q1. No, Sports Illustrated did not do anything ethically wrong by running Vonn’s picture as their cover page. The major aim for the sports magazine was to show fairness by at least using a female athlete’s picture so as to fulfill the gender balance in sports coverage and promotion. To begin with, there are no sexual connotations in the picture as it is on the cover page. The fact that Vonn does not have a helmet does not mean that her whole body is naked. The journalist intended to show fairness by choosing to use a female figure as the magazine’s cover image. This is after long desperate loud cries by female athletes of being sidelined when it comes to promoting their sports. Various groups of female sportsperson have been claiming to be neglected by sports journalists in their desperate attempts to encourage other females to join their sports. The only way their cries would be addressed is by at least using a female icon to show support for the female athletes. Using a full dressed up female picture has, at no place been a sign of sexual enticement. This is unless the audience has wild minds which only focuses on other elements aside from the main message intended for them. More often, we have seen scantly dressed female musicians gracing cover pages of popular magazines and no one has come in public to sue them.
Q2. Yes. The journalist’s actual intentions behind running the photo need to be considered. In my own opinion, I believe if the journalist wanted to sexually entice the public by using Vonn’s picture, he would have shot the picture by exposing various critical parts of her body which would easily catch the attention of men. Vonn would not be bending hence hiding her chest. Neither would she be fully dressed in a nice skating costume as she is in the photo. The ethical discussions surrounding Vonn’s cover page picture need to be reconsidered and critically evaluated. Some comparisons of the possible need to avail the various poses which can be used to entice a man sexually. The journalist mainly used Vonn’s picture so as to promote the readers’ interests in female sports. This is a unique way of marketing which in turn may lead to male flocking stadiums to cheer on females while they are competing.
Q3. Yes. Suppose upon reading the Sports Illustrated magazine on which Vonn has been featured as the best female skier in America, increased interest in females willingness to train and become a professional skier, it would make a big ethical difference. This is plain because the desired message, which is essentially creating much possible awareness about different sports in America, will have been delivered. It would mean that journalist’s intention was delivered to the right target f which upon being motivated by one of their own skills, have made up their minds to follow her footsteps .it would mean that females if given the same opportunity, females will thrive by attracting more
Q4. In this case, selection of a photo to be used as a cover page is an important activity of a sports’ journalist. Basing on this case study. It is evident that the cover pages of Sports Illustrated are often selected among many before being posted as the cover page. The main objective of using Vonn’s photo is to promote the skiing sport by encouraging other upcoming skiers to put in more efforts. Appearance on the cover page of a widely read magazine seems to a major motivational factor that inspires athletes to even go beyond their limits in their various sports. This is evidenced by continued laments from the female athletes who have been slamming various media houses of ignoring them (Reinardy and Wanta, 2015). They often complained that they have been sidelined for long hence making it difficult to promote their gaming activities to younger generations. They claimed that men athletes have been used more than enough in promoting their sports by appearing as the cover pages almost every time. This is a clear sign of inequality in the representation which contributes to gender discrimination. In my opinion, if female athletes would have maintained their silence and give up on promoting their sports by appearing on magazines cover pages, the journalist would not have bothered using Vonn’s photo. Despite the fact that some people argue that the journalist exploited Vonn’s photo for business purposes, I am convinced it was more of promoting the female athletes’ sports rather that improving sales of the magazine.
Q5. Yes. There are more ethical issues that need attention from any sports journalist. To begin with, a sports journalist needs to maintain neutrality when covering or presenting news. He or she should not be biased depending on where he has pledged his loyalty to. Secondly, sports journalists need to maintain integrity. They have to be true to themselves and deliver the intended message without inducing any mischief in the reporting duty (Frost, 2015). A sports journalist also needs to be respectful and responsible. The sports journalist needs to respect every sportsman desires and not dictate what posture they take when shooting a photo. It is the freedom of every person to pose according to his or her wishes. Basing on the case study, no one knows whether it was Lyndsey Vonn’s decision to pose that way for a cover page photo or not. The journalist has no power to force her to put on a helmet or even pose in a common way. The responsibility of a journalist can be evidenced by the title they use on their cover pages. They need to be neutral and not contain any sexual connotations just because it is a female athlete who has been used.
Q6. If I were the sports journalist handling the selection of Lyndsey Vonn’s picture for the cover page, I would direct her to at least have the sports uniform which will easily identify her to her peers as a sportsperson. The only thing I would not have accepted is if she came while dressed scantly. This is because it would not be a professional act of promoting her sport but rather would be enticing sexual senses among her fans. Bearing in mind the way the current generations exaggerates things and picture them differently from the intended message to be delivered. The fact that Vonn does not have a helmet as compared to the 1992 cover page photo of A.J. Kitt does not mean that she is enticing men by her face. I believe it was her desire to post that way and the smile on her face could be a sign of heart’s satisfaction of her achievement. It could also symbolize her happiness in the sport she is in now. It does have to be a sad face covered in a helmet always.
Frost, C. (2015). Journalism ethics and regulation. Routledge.
Reinardy, S., & Wanta, W. (2015). The essentials of sports reporting and writing. Routledge.
Running Head: SPORTS ETHICS
March 21, 2019