Sports Infotainment: An Investigation of Sports Reporting Related to Babe Ruth and Tiger Woods



Norman, Cody Gaines

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Contemporary sports heroes are all but extinct. Little research currently exists regarding the effect of media-constructed heroism on historical and modern day athletes, but this research depicts the seeming extinction of the ultimate athletic hero. Due in large part to the ever-changing quantity and quality of sports news coverage, two of the sports industry's most recognizable athletes—Tiger Woods and Babe Ruth—have strikingly different reputations among the general population. This research uses a combination of cluster sampling and convenience sampling, as every article within a given constraint – namely date and media outlets – is used to make inferences about the tone and style of coverage of two "heroic" athletes throughout their illustrious careers. This research focuses specifically on the media coverage of Ruth and Woods during some of the highest and lowest points in their respective careers. It demonstrates a change in attitude and focus of sport media from Ruth's first World Series championship in the early twentieth century through Woods's resurgence to the top of the leaderboard in the 2011 Chevron World Challenge.



Journalism, Sports, Infotainment, Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, Media