'Here be dragons, here be savages, here be bad plumbing': Australian media representations of sport and terrorism

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Sport in Society, 2006, 9 (1), pp. 71 - 93
Issue Date:
2006-01
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As `Propaganda Theorists argue, an examination of key discourses can enhance our understanding of how economic, political and social debate is shaped by mainstream media reporting. In this essay we present content and discourse analysis of Australian media reporting on the nexus of sport and terrorism. Examining newspaper reports over a five-year period, from 19962001, which included the 11 September 2001 terrorist tragedy in the United States (9/11), provides useful insights into how public discourse might be influenced with regard to sport and terrorism interrelationships. The results of the media analysis suggest that hegemonic tropes are created around sport and terrorism. The distilled message is one of good and evil, with homilies of sport employed in metaphors for western society and its values. The reactions and responses of sport administrators and athletes to terrorist acts and the threat of terrorism to sport are used to exemplify these ideals, providing newspaper readers a context within which to localize meaning and relevance.
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